Swiss Technical University Accepts Bitcoin to Boost Tech Cred
A Swiss university has joined only a handful worldwide to accept bitcoin. The Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts this week announced its “customers” will be able to pay in BTC, starting immediately.
Swiss Campaign to Become Bitcoin and Blockchain Center
According to a statement, the institution suggested accepting bitcoin will boost its reputation as a center for students to learn and experience the latest technologies:
The university, known locally as Hochschule Luzern or HSLU, wants to indicate its “ability to disseminate knowledge on cutting-edge technologies such as blockchain, as well as its desire to gain experience in the practical aspects of this novel area”.
Local payment processor Bitcoin Suisse AG will handle the BTC transactions, converting them into Swiss francs once a week.
Founded only in 1997, Lucerne is a publicly-funded vocational university with over 5,000 students and, as the name suggests, a business/technical focus. It offers classes in English and German.
It also has a campus in Zug, known as one of the world’s most Bitcoin-friendly cities. Bitcoin Suisse AG has its headquarters in Zug, part of Switzerland’s “Crypto Valley” initiative to develop and promote blockchain technology. The city also accepts bitcoin payments for some municipal services.
Accepting Bitcoin Shows Tech Prowess
Lucerne University’s bitcoin announcement was subdued compared to others of its nature, acknowledging that it’s a first step:
The Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts is anticipating that few payments will be made in bitcoin – at least to start with. Those most likely to avail themselves of this opportunity will either be already familiar with the concept of financial services and blockchain or interested in pursuing continuing and executive education opportunities in this subject area.
Other higher learning institutions have begun accepting bitcoin payments over the years — NYC’s King’s College was the first in the U.S. back in 2014, and Berlin’s ESMT business college led the way in Germany in 2016.
Not surprisingly, the first university in the entire world to accept bitcoin was Cyprus’ University of Nicosia (UNIC), which offers a Masters of Science in Digital Currency as part of its Blockchain Initiative. UNIC also offers a free online course on blockchain and cryptocurrency aimed at beginner-to-intermediate learners.
Is accepting bitcoin a good way for universities to prove their technological credibility? Let’s hear your thoughts.
Images via HSLU.ch, 3fach.ch