The MIT Coop bookstore, a retail store serving the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), is now accepting bitcoin for T-shirts, textbooks, school supplies and more.
The news comes amid increasing interest in bitcoin at the university and ahead of a scheduled 'airdrop' of $500,000 in bitcoin to MIT undergraduates. The project, which will provide $100 to every MIT student, is scheduled to take place sometime later this fall.
is already equipped with a bitcoin ATM, a development that Jerry Murphy, of the bookstore's management firm, said made accepting bitcoin a natural decision.
Notably, the MIT Coop will accept bitcoin through a partnership with Georgia-based bitcoin payment processor BitPay.
First purchase confirmed
Speaking to CoinDesk, MIT Bitcoin Project organizer Dan Elitzer confirmed that he had completed what was likely the first bitcoin transaction at the MIT Coop, purchasing an MIT-branded hat with bitcoin.
Boston Magazine had earlier indicated that no transactions had been made as of the publication of its report.
Chris Yim, co-founder of Boston-based bitcoin ATM operator Liberty Teller and an MIT alumnus, told CoinDesk:
Bitcoin interest on the rise
The announcement also follows the completion of the MIT BitComp, a summer-long app development contest led by the MIT Bitcoin Project. Started in June, that competition ended earlier this week, with block chain-powered online identity startup Ethos winning the $5,000 grand prize.
The MIT BitComp was not the first bitcoin-specific event on campus, however.
This May, the university played host to the MIT Bitcoin Expo, a day-long conference that brought leaders in the bitcoin industry face-to-face with MIT students eager to learn more about the emerging technology and potential careers that may be available as the ecosystem develops.
Elitzer told CoinDesk that the excitement and energy around these projects is mounting, and that he hopes this momentum carries through to the airdrop this fall.
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