Two private preschools in New York City now accept bitcoin and two other cryptocurrencies for tuition payments, according to their co-founder.
Montessori Schools, based in the Flatiron and SoHo neighborhoods of Manhattan, began accepting bitcoin, ether and litecoin in June. Payments are accepted by way of an integration with digital currency startup Coinbase, which automatically converts the crypto payments to US dollars.
The preschools ascribe to the Montessori philosophy of education, an approach to learning developed in the early 20th century by Maria Montessori. According to online materials, tuition at the schools can run as high as $30,950 per annum – worth roughly 12.3 BTC at current prices.
Marco Ciocco, co-founder and chairman of the schools, told CoinDesk that the move to accept digital currencies for tuition payments began more than a year ago, following requests from parents. As more requests came in, Ciocco said, school officials started to seriously weigh how it could work.
He went on to explain:
"Parents who were early adopters are now able to take advantage of the appreciation of their digital assets and use them to pay for their children’s education – something that will ultimately have a lifetime impact on their families."
Ciocco, who said that he had personally been following the cryptocurrency space for the past several years, added that "many" parents had begun to utilize the payment option – a trend he expects to continue as time goes on.
"As a forward-thinking administration, we like to stay ahead of the curve and would not be surprised if the percentage of tuition paid in digital currencies continues to grow every year and becomes a substantial portion of our payments," Ciocco told CoinDesk.
Disclosure: CoinDesk is a subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which has an ownership stake in Coinbase.
Kindergarten image via Shutterstock