Kings College in New York Will Accept Bitcoin.
Friday, King’s College, a four-year evangelical school based in Lower Manhattan, said that it would become the first accredited college to allow students to pay their tuition in Bitcoin. It’s also the latest in a growing list of groups that have begun accepting virtual currency, fueled by a cottage industry dedicated to making online money easier to use.
A small liberal arts college committed to “the truths of Christianity and a biblical worldview,” King’s charges $15,950 a semester for 12 to 18 credits, according to its website. King’s has about 500 students, according to the school’s president, Gregory Thornbury.
But Mr. Thornbury does not know how many of those students, or future students, will actually take advantage of the new payment method. That’s not surprising, given that many merchants say that just offering Bitcoin as an option can be a useful marketing tool.
Mr. Thornbury said that the school was primarily motivated by the desire to be forward-thinking.
“It seems to be fairly similar to email 20 years ago,” Mr. Thornbury said in an interview Friday. “Why would we need that? And then everybody has one.”
Bitcoin’s price has swung from a few cents to more than $1,000 to its current price of about $600 in just a few years.
Still, plenty of entrepreneurs are eager to jump on the Bitcoin bandwagon. Companies like Coin.co and the more widely used Coinbase have made it easier for companies to accept Bitcoin by converting virtual currency into dollars. Coinbase already works with companies including Overstock.com and recently confirmed it would help Jared Polis, a congressman from Colorado, accept campaign donations. Just last month, Dish Network announced it would use Coinbase to let customers pay their satellite television bills.