A Canadian university is installing bitcoin ATMs across campus, and will accept the digital currency for the purchase of text books, in an effort to stimulate discussion about the future of money and innovation in financial services.
Bookstores at each of Simon Fraser University's three campuses in Vancouver, Burnaby, and Surrey, will now accept bitcoin for the payment of retail transactions, and virtual currency machines will be installed in these locations, allowing the student body to purchase the virtual currency.
Mark McLaughlin, SFU’s executive director of ancillary services, says: “As a university focused on innovation, we want to provide our students the opportunity to try digital currencies like bitcoin through ATMs and within the bookstore and other retail locations on campus.”
Each bookstore will encourage patrons to use bitcoin by giving the first 100 customers a $5 bookstore gift card.
McLaughlin says that by creating a virtual currency ecosystem on campus, the University will be better placed to foster a dialogue about the future of currency and disruptive technologies. Vancouver is developing into the Canadian hub for digital finance and SFU wants to play an enabling role in its development, he notes.
“What we’re trying to do is get students to talk about innovation and try bitcoin,” says McLaughlin. “The only way to have an opinion about digital currencies is to learn about it, and we are providing a first-hand experience in that regard.”