Yelp Director Donates $10k in Bitcoin to Alma Mater

Yelp Director of Public Policy Luther Lowe has donated $10,000 in bitcoin to his high school Alma Mater.

AccessTimeIconAug 6, 2014 at 7:10 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 11, 2021 at 11:02 a.m. UTC

Yelp Director of Public Policy Luther Lowe has donated $10,000 in bitcoin to his high school Alma Mater as part of an effort to create a computer science course on bitcoin for students.

Lowe, who graduated from Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences and the Arts (ASMSA) in 2001 and is currently serving his final year as the school's Board of Visitors chair, indicated that the donation will help the ASMA keep pace educating students on what he feels is a revolutionary technology.

Speaking to CoinDesk, Lowe lauded bitcoin and its potential to help boost the educations of students at the ASMSA, saying:

"If bitcoin as a technology is going to change everything, then what better place and what better time to teach people about this?"

The donation marks the first time either the ASMSA Foundation Fund or the University of Arkansas Foundation, of which the ASMA is part, have accepted a donation denominated in digital currency. In order to accept the donation, the school set up a wallet through BitPay.

However, it is not the first donation to a US school, as Blockchain CEO Nic Cary donated $10,000 to the University of Puget Sound in February, while a $25,000 bitcoin donation was made to Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU) in March.

Notably, Lowe's interest in the bitcoin space was previously established when his name surfaced on a list of individuals said to be participating in the US Marshals Service's (USMS) Silk Road auction.

At the time, Lowe told CoinDesk that while he was interested in the auction, his inquiry was not issued on behalf of Yelp.

Increasing Arkansas awareness

As for why he chose to make the donation in bitcoin, Lowe said his main goal was to raise awareness for both bitcoin and the initiative in Arkansas.

Lowe added:

"This will definitely start to raise awareness in a place that might see fewer merchants using it and have less familiarity with bitcoin."

Lowe went on to confirm he will have no direct involvement in the course development, but that he is confident that the Board of Visitors will be able to craft the program with a level of excellence.

"I trust that they'll do a good job of it," Lowe said. "My high school math classes were a lot harder than my college courses, so I think whatever they put together is going to be great."

Bitcoin interest grows

Though careful to stress that his bitcoin interest remains personal, Lowe also opened up about his bitcoin-related work at Yelp. For example, he noted that he did help encourage the company to add bitcoin to its business attribute pages for merchants this April.

While Lowe does not identify as an evangelist, he did state that he is enthusiastic about developments in the space, and that he continues to keep a close eye on the industry.

He concluded:

"I mean I just think it's an exciting area to watch, and I think that it's telling that every smart VC that I know in Silicon Valley is extremely bullish on it."

High school classroom via Shutterstock


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