MIT undergrads set to receive $100 worth of bitcoin currency

Undergraduates at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology will be given $100 (£59) of the cryptocurrency in an attempt to boost the bitcoin eco-system.

MIT hope that this unusual move will generate more support for bitcoin, and in an area synonymous for hackers, coders and engineers this initiative could be central to strengthening bitcoin's infrastructure.

The project is being run by 19-year-old undergraduate Jeremy Rubin and Master of Business Administration student Daniel Elitzer. The duo have so far raised $500,000 (£297,000) in only six weeks thanks to over 2,000 donations from the bitcoin community and from MIT alum.

They want to encourage students and local businesses to really start adopting the new currency and use it in different and much more creative ways.

Daniel Elitzer said: "We decided to announce this project now to give students lead time. We want to issue a challenge to some of the brightest technical minds of a generation: ‘When you step on to campus this fall, all of your classmates are going to have access to bitcoin; what are you going to build to give them interesting ways to use it?'"

Rubin added: "Giving students access to cryptocurrencies is analogous to providing them with Internet access at the dawn of the Internet era.

"When the distribution happens this fall, it will make the MIT campus the first place in the world where it will be possible to assume widespread access to Bitcoin."

This story is very similar to to the bitcoin giveaway that sparked media interest last April when a user on the social networking service, Reddit, randomly gave away $13,000 (£7,700) worth of the currency in a single day.