The Blockchain Education Network (BEN) has announced a Bitcoin airdrop to four Chicago Universities today. This year BEN’s “Back-to-School Blockchain Initiative” has spread to more cities than ever before to show students the power of cryptocurrency.
Chicago College Students Get A Free Taste of Bitcoin
The first bitcoin airdrop experience initiated in 2014 by the MIT Bitcoin Club. This year BEN wants to expand its outreach by airdropping in multiple cities across the U.S. Today the student airdrop will give students Bitcoin at Illinois Tech, the University of Illinois at Chicago, DePaul, and the University of Chicago.
The project is meant to teach students how to use Bitcoin wallets, transact with the cryptocurrency and understand the technology. The BEN initiative explains:
On September 24 to hand out free bitcoin to all! Check our schedule for when we are on your campus (or come out if you’re nearby!!) and talk to us to get free Bitcoin! We will help you setup your first wallet, and talk about how and where to use Bitcoin.
Naysayers Say Bitcoin Airdrops Are Not Beneficial
The team behind BEN and the Regional Head of Events for the BEN’s efforts in the Chicagoland area hopes the cryptocurrency project will become more mainstream on campus. However, there has been those who doubt the practice has done any good.
According to a recent report from the Boston Globe, despite a $500,000 in Bitcoin giveaway, cash and credit cards still ruled the roost on campus. The article seemed awfully bias towards downsizing the benefits of cryptocurrency education.
That year at MIT Christian Catalini, an assistant professor at MIT who oversaw the experiment said 3,110 students signed up. Many students used it to shop and trade it on exchanges. Some of them cashed out entirely, and a good portion of students just held onto the Bitcoin in hopes the price would rise. “They think of it as a lottery ticket,” Catalini said.
BEN Member Says The Boston Globe Is Confused
Bitcoin.com reached out to the BEN initiatives Dean Masley, and he gave our readers a different perspective stating:
So I think a lot of people misunderstood the success about the MIT airdrop. They look at the very high cash out rate and then think it failed. But that’s a very good result. Students taking the initiative and setting up the gateways to make their coin liquid is a better deal than ignoring it altogether,
“Even if students cashed out, they now have a better idea how it works with less mystery and they know it’s a liquid currency they can convert to cash whenever. That’s a huge leap of expectations for an entire campus. You’re more likely to get involved later in the future when you’re triggered by an article or someone trying to split the tab with bitcoin instead of Venmo,” Masley added.
BEN’s Back-to-School Blockchain Initiative believes Bitcoin is gaining traction, and teaching students is an excellent way to spread its use. Today in Chicago the blockchain club at IIT will be airing a radio broadcast of the event. Organizers hope people will listen and give them a call with questions concerning Bitcoin use.
Bitcoin.com also believes in the educational aspects of teaching students about the benefits of cryptocurrency. We hope BEN and Chicago students take advantage of today’s airdrop festivities.
What do you think about the Bitcoin college airdrop? Do you think it’s beneficial? Let us know in the comments below.
Images via Shutterstock,
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