The University of Nicosia in Cyprus said it will be accepting Bitcoin as a form of payment for tuition fees. This move makes the university the world's largest accredited institution to do so, which could pave the way for a new currency that is 100 percent digital. The move doesn't come as a surprise to us because Cyprus has been closely linked with Bitcoin in many ways.
Last year, the country's financial problems deepened, which forced leaders to accept a bailout from the EU that ultimately involves taxing almost 10 percent on all deposits over $134,000, which led to a rush to the banks. Some of the money withdrawn was invested in Bitcoin, which caused daily transactions to triple after the deal went through.
Since then, Bitcoin value continued to grow and has been strong as ever.
It's probably quite fitting that the largest private university in Cyprus is the first in the world to accommodate Bitcoin. The university is also launching a Master of Science course that aims to help professionals understand currencies such as Bitcoin.
"We are acutely aware that digital currency is an inevitable technical development that will lead to significant innovation in online commerce, financial systems, international payments and remittances and global economic development. Digital currency will create more efficient services and will serve as a mechanism for spreading financial services to under-banked regions of the world," said Dr. Christos Vlachos, member of the Council of the University of Nicosia, and the University's Chief Financial Officer. "Our world class business, accounting and computer science departments have partnered to create an interdisciplinary major to prepare people for these revolutionary changes. In this light, we consider it appropriate that we implement digital currency as a method of payment across all our institutions in all cities and countries of our operations."
Although the university is accepting Bitcoin as tuition fees and other things, it does not plan on keeping the funds in its Bitcoin wallet for a long period of time, according to a Geek Wire source. "The intention of this initiative is to ease transmission difficulties for certain students and to build our own practical knowledge about this field, not to engage in currency speculation." What this means is that the Bitcoin cash will be converted to the Euro currency soon after payments are made.
The announcement by the University of Nicosia could pave the way for the mass acceptance of Bitcoin. It's still early days, but it is clear that for Bitcoin to become successful, large companies and educational institutions would have to be willing to refrain from converting Bitcoin funds to another currency.