Cryptocurrencies are going mainstream. In recent months, demand for bitcoin from institutional investors has skyrocketed. At the same time, Coinbase became the first crypto platform to go public.
Big firemn like MicroStrategy, PayPal and Square have invested in bitcoin. El Salvador became the first country to declare Bitcoin legal tender. Corporations like Walmart and Amazon are actively hiring new executives with blockchain expertise.
All of this is leading to the significant growth of the blockchain ecosystem. In the process, the total value of blocked DeFi tokens (TVL) has risen to over $90 billion. At the same time, the market value of Non-Fungible Tokens (NFT) has also grown to more than $2 billion in the first quarter.
As a result, many organizations have started accepting cryptocurrencies. The most famous company that accepts payments with Bitcoin is Tesla. Recently, McDonald’s in El Salvador has also started accepting Bitcoin.
In parallel, educational institutions such as universities and colleges have introduced courses on blockchain. Others have gone a step further and now accept Bitcoin for tuition payments. Most such universities are located outside the United States. In this country, cryptocurrencies are likely to take some time.
American University of Paraguay
The American University of Paraguay is a leading private university with more than 17,000 students from around the world. In a second quarter statement, the university announced that students can now pay their tuition with cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ether, and XRP.
Management justified the decision by saying it wanted to accommodate students. This is because many of ihnen prefer cryptocurrencies. The university wants to keep cryptocurrencies taken and check when to exchange them for fiat money. The decision did not come now by chance. Paraguay is thinking about following El Salvador’s example and making BTC a legal tender.
Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts (UAS)
The Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts is a leading Swiss university with more than 12,000 students. The university is publicly funded by the six cantons of Central Switzerland. As recently as 2017, the university announced that it would accept Bitcoin for tuition fees. The management stated:
‘By accepting the cryptocurrency Bitcoin, the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts is sending a signal that it not only wants to impart knowledge on cutting-edge technologies such as blockchain, but also wants to gain experience in the practical use of it.
FPT University of Vietnam
FPT University of Vietnam started accepting Bitcoin for tuition fees in 2017. At the time, the university management justified it by saying that they wanted to be more inclusive, especially of foreign students:
FPT University accepts students or prospective students to pay fees in Bitcoin. In the short term, it will also apply to foreign students.
It is unclear if the university still accepts bitcoin. Meanwhile, the bitcoin price crashed in 2018 and rose again in subsequent years.
Other universities such as Kings University in New York, the University of Nicosia and the European University of Management and Technology also accept Bitcoin.
Still, universities that accept Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies face significant challenges. For one thing, cryptocurrency regulations are still relatively new in most countries. At the same time, Bitcoin, while mature, is still a relatively risky medium of exchange. Between May and July 2021, for example, its price crashed from more than $64,000 to less than $30,000.