SFU Bookstore to accept Bitcoin payments, launch Bitcoin vending machines on three campuses

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      Last August, Simon Fraser University became the first Canadian university to accept Bitcoin donations.

      This week, SFU is set to further embrace Bitcoin, a peer-to-peer digital currency, through the university-run bookstores on its Burnaby, Vancouver, and Surrey campuses.

      Starting Tuesday (May 26), the SFU Bookstore will officially begin accepting payments for textbooks and other goods in Bitcoin, and launch Bitcoin automated vending machines (AVMs, also known as Bitcoin ATMs) in its three outlets.

      “What we’re trying to do is get students to talk about innovation and try Bitcoin,” Mark McLaughlin, SFU’s executive director of ancillary services, states in a news release provided to the Georgia Straight. “The only way to have an opinion about digital currencies is to learn about it, and we are providing a first-hand experience in that regard.”

      There will be ribbon-cutting ceremonies in Burnaby on Tuesday, Vancouver on Wednesday (May 27), and Surrey on Thursday (May 28).

      The first 100 customers who spend $20 or more in Bitcoin will receive a $5 bookstore gift card.

      Michael Yeung, founder of the SFU Bitcoin Club, worked with the university administration to bring Bitcoin to the bookstore.

      “The coming era of virtual currencies is inevitable and exciting, no different than the early days of the Internet,” Yeung states in the same release.

      Canadian company BitSent is providing the AVMs, which allow people to buy bitcoins, or fractions of them, with cash.

      At time of writing, one bitcoin was valued at around US$237.