The Massachusetts Institute of Technology is one of the most famous schools in the country for turning out enormous nerds. And, if you live near MIT, you quickly learn that nerds can come up with a lot of money to amuse themselves with. Hence, the MIT Bitcoin Club, in an amusing attempt to get Cambridge to care, is handing out free cash to the incoming freshman class.
We’re teasing, but it’s not a bad idea. That said, the hopes and dreams of the club may not really be in line with reality, as you can see in Mashable’s coverage of the topic.
[Bitcoin club head Dan] Elitzer said they believe MIT’s students, many of whom have deep technical backgrounds, are in a unique position to come up with new and innovative ways to use Bitcoin and that academic studies are already being considered. Elitzer said that currently there are few places near MIT’s campus that accept Bitcoin but is quick to point out that thousands of undergrads with about a half million dollars in Bitcoin will likely grab the attention of local merchants.
You know, provided the students don’t immediately sell said Bitcoin for hard cash to use among the 100% of merchants who actually accept that. Seriously, find us a college freshman who doesn’t need an extra $100 in his pocket, and we’ll show you somebody who has Daddy’s credit card. Similarly, we imagine this will be a slightly harder sell to local merchants than the Bitcoin club envisions. MIT is in some ways the closest Reddit will get to a physical entity, and that creates a cultural distortion field in some parts of the student body.
Still, credit where credit is due; especially after the Mt. Gox implosion and regular theft, they’re right in that students should experiment with the code and see what they can do with it. Just…maybe tone down your ambitions.