In the future, Willson Cross believes many consumers will pay for things in Bitcoin every day.
Cross is the 21-year-old founder and president of the brand-new UBC Bitcoin Club, which was established in September at the University of British Columbia’s Vancouver campus.
“Bitcoin doesn’t have necessarily the potential to be just a virtual currency, but we also believe it has the potential to be the future of finance,” the third-year economics student said during an interview at the Georgia Straight offices.
With the formation of the student group—which so far has 15 members—B.C.’s largest university is following in the footsteps of Simon Fraser University and the B.C. Institute of Technology, which already have Bitcoin clubs.
Like those organizations, the UBC Bitcoin Club’s primary goal is to educate students about the fast-growing cryptocurrency.
According to Cross, the club’s plans include digital currency literacy events, merchant adoption and mentorship programs, and a small business incubator funded by alumni and private money.
Cross hopes to see UBC eventually accept Bitcoin payments for tuition and bookstore sales.
Meanwhile, a UBC representative informed the Straight in July that the university had no plans to accept Bitcoin for tuition or services.
Cross pointed out that there’s lots of Bitcoin activity happening at top universities such as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Pennsylvania State University.
“UBC, it’s in their best interest to bridge that gap with the future and get with the times, so to speak,” Cross said.
He also wants to see the UBC Alma Mater Society and businesses in the Student Union Building embrace Bitcoin. Cross said that, under AMS rules, the club can’t technically hold funds in Bitcoin.
To Cross, Bitcoin is a perfect fit for UBC because it lies at the intersection of many academic fields—such as computer science, economics, finance, law, and marketing—and communities.
Over the coming months, he plans to tell his fellow students about the cryptocurrency’s “accessibility and convenience”.