Massachusetts Institute of Technology recently began accepting bitcoins at the COOP bookstore in Kendall Square.
Bitcoin, a digital currency and online payment system, was released in 2009. Since many people are unfamiliar with the electronic currency, employees of the MIT COOP said they were unsure of what this program would entail.
“When they told us we would be accepting bitcoins, we all went, ‘We don’t know what this is, but cool?’” said Nia Mendy, an Emerson student who works at the bookstore.
The senior writing, literature, and publishing major explained that one of the store’s registers is now equipped with an iPad with BitPay, an app that enables bitcoin payment.
The bookstore has had a bitcoin ATM since the beginning of summer, which allows users to exchange digital bitcoins for physical cash, making the transition easier, Mendy said.
The MIT Bitcoin Club, which started this project, plans to give each undergraduate student $100 in bitcoins this fall, saying it hopes to spark an interest in the currency.