Paraguay University to Accept Bitcoin, Ether, XRP in August

Students at the institution can pay for degrees and courses using cryptocurrencies when the fall term begins.

Jun 23, 2021 at 6:07 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 1:15 p.m. UTC

Paraguay’s Universidad Americana will begin accepting cryptocurrencies as payment starting in August, general director Camilo Jiménez Agüero told CoinDesk.

Universidad Americana has 17,000 students, 60% of whom study virtually. It plans to accept bitcoin, ether, dash and XRP as forms of payment.

According to Jiménez Agüero, the university’s crypto wallet is ready to receive payments but won’t activate the wallet until the fall term begins, when it plans to include a payment button on its website. 

Unlike many businesses that say they will accept crypto, the university will not immediately convert its crypto into fiat. Rather, it will decide after receiving the payments, the director said. 

Jiménez Agüero said that American University worked with a local crypto company to develop the project along with its own IT team. He didn’t disclose the crypto company’s name. 

Following the announcement on Twitter, the university received inquiries from competitors asking for help to implement crypto payment methods. 

The institution's main campus is in Asunción, Paraguay's capital, and it has branches in Ciudad del Este and Encarnación. It offers several courses focused on blockchain and cryptocurrencies, Jiménez Agüero said. 

The lack of on-site assistance during the pandemic boosted the adoption of new means of digital payments, Jiménez Agüero said. Currently, 70% of the payments the institution receives are digital, while the remainder is in cash, he added. 

"The challenge is to expand the adoption of crypto and migrate to more efficient payment channels," Jiménez Agüero said.  

Last week, Paraguayan entertainment company Grupo Cinco announced that it plans to accept cryptocurrencies as a means of payment at its venues in July. 

Jimenez said he believes that eventually all industries in the country will accept crypto.

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