The University of Nicosia in Cyprus informed that it is starting to settle for Bitcoins as a payment of tuition and other fees.
With such a declaration The University, additionally known as UNic, becomes the first accredited educational institution in the world which allows its students to make payments of fees with decentralized currency Bitcoin. UNic also announced that in Spring 2014 it will launch a new educational program - Master of Science degree in Digital Currency.
Dr. Christos Vlachos, Chief Financial Officer in UNic, believes in the future of Bitcoin and says that the University is really sure that this virtual currency soon will be more technically developed and this will cause a heavy innovation in e-commerce, monetary system, shall make international payments more comfortable and must promote the development of global economic.
Vlachos also suggests that this currency will create more efficient services" and should serve as a method of expanding monetary services to under-banked regions.
UNic decided to make an ability to pay with Bitcoin after it received a lot of requests from its on-line students from non-banked countries like Kenya.
The administration also found out that Bitcoin could be the best option for those students because it provides fast, cheap, easy and convenient payments.
The economic historian at the London School of Economics, Garrick Hileman said that they will try to monitor the UNic's experience with Bitcoin and maybe one day this virtual currency will grow up and become a regular option of making payments to traditional educational institutions. He added that Cyprus, Argentina, Iceland, China are the best test beds for such an experiment and mentioned that the implementation of Bitcoin could also be possible in countries which has suffered the most during the financial crisis and/or have been under the strict control of worldwide financial institutions.
GeekWire asked the representative of The University of Nicosia about the decision to settle for Bitcoin payments in the light of recent instability of that currency, and he answered that this was made just to make easier the money transfer process which has been difficult for some students and also to improve UNic's knowledges in this field, but they are not trying to start speculating with this cryptocurrency.
The University of Nicosia is the largest private university in Cyprus. It has campuses in three cities and in total educates about 9,000 students. Also it is one of the largest universities in the Mediterranean region of Europe.
According to UNic's words, it has plans to make Cyprus a hub for Bitcoin where to trade, bank and exchange this currency. However they need a permission signed by the Cypriot Government.
During the financial crisis in Cyprus the Bitcoin has raised to $266 in this April.
In the past two weeks the Bitcoin has raised even more, although there still remains a certain instability.
UNic for sure is the first accredited university which will accept Bitcoin, but we know there are also other educational institutions doing this. For example, Khan Academy informed this year that they already have courses concerning Bitcoin and they started to accept donations in this currency. In addition, an unaccredited school for entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley accepts Bitcoin.