Love Will, Inc, the team behind the Pheeva bitcoin wallet, has launched a branded bitcoin wallet specifically for students at the Georgia Institute of Technology.
Called ‘the Jacket Wallet’, the custom bitcoin wallet features Georgia Tech’s signature navy blue and gold colors, and will require users to have a campus email address to enroll.
The wallet was officially unveiled at a kickoff event for the school’s first dedicated bitcoin group, Bitcoin@Tech. Held on 24th September, the Bitcoin 101 session featured representatives from Pheeva and Georgia-based payment processor BitPay, as well as about 50 university students.
Mallika Sen, the founder of Bitcoin@Tech and a former BitPay intern, said that she expects interest to grow as more students begin to use the wallet and take advantage of its gamification elements.
Sen told CoinDesk:
“There’s a wide variety of students and people who are interested in bitcoin. They’re very encouraging.”
Students who download the wallet will be able to, in turn, join the COG Cooperative, a dedicated social network that will reward users based on how they promote the network. The wallet will monetize through advertisements, but pay students a share of this revenue based on these participation points.
While unique, the project is likely to be the first of many to launch at universities across the US.
Love Will’s big merger
Love Will Inc and bitcoin outreach and charity group The Bitcoin Society announced a merger in conjunction with the wallet launch. The combined businesses, which will operate as Love Will, Inc, will aim to replicate the custom wallet launch at universities across the US this fall.
The move brings The Bitcoin Society and Love Will’s operational strengths under one roof, which will help the group continue pushing its mass rollout model.
Love Will Inc business development consultant Jeff Handler told CoinDesk that there is demand for digital currency launches of this kind, noting:
“Georgia Tech is the first one. I can’t say right now the specific colleges we’re working on, but we’re working to bring this model to every campus that wants to accept bitcoin.”
The project could gain significant traction given that grassroots support for digital currency at US colleges already exists. In addition to the increasing number of student-led bitcoin organizations, several colleges have begun offering digital currency courses, while some have started accepting bitcoin as payment for select services.
The Love Will approach, according to Handler, incorporates a grassroots strategy as demonstrated by the formal launch of the Jacket Wallet this week at Georgia Tech.
Handler said he made the decision to merge his operations with those of the team behind Pheeva after realizing that both companies “shared a collective vision” as young entrepreneurs in the digital currency space.
“Entering the bitcoin space as recent college graduates, [The Bitcoin Society] strived to position ourselves as a community-based information hub that could cater to the growing interest in bitcoin amongst college students.”
The two companies began working together this summer, following initial discussions at The North American Bitcoin Conference in Chicago.
Path to college adoption
CoinDesk also spoke with Stephanie Wargo, vice president of marketing for BitPay, who said that the company is working closely with Georgia Tech on upcoming projects.
Wargo said that interest in the bitcoin at Georgia Tech, the former university of executive chairman Tony Gallippi and CEO Stephen Pair, is strong and that the community there has been actively assisting in the run-up to the wallet launch.
“The college has been extremely receptive. We’ve been working with them for over a year now, as far as different programs within the university. We’ve gone down to hold some talks, and we’ve been very active and they’ve been extremely receptive of bitcoin.”
Wargo indicated that BitPay hopes to have further announcements regarding the university soon.
Images via Love Will Inc and Wikipedia