Simon Fraser University not ready to accept Bitcoin

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      There’s a “definite buzz around Bitcoin” among students at Simon Fraser University.

      Indeed, the Simon Fraser Bitcoin Club, established in June 2013, is the first student group of its kind in Canada.

      So, according to Mark McLaughlin, SFU’s executive director of ancillary services, it’s no surprise that students have been asking the university to start accepting Bitcoin.

      However, McLaughlin told the Georgia Straight that it’s premature for SFU to seriously consider taking the headline-grabbing digital currency at the university’s bookstores and cafeterias, let alone for tuition.

      “We’re waiting for things to stabilize on the Bitcoin front, before we start looking at it,” McLaughlin said. “We don’t have any definite plans. Our students are asking us to look at Bitcoin and maybe to start accepting it. But it’s just too early for SFU to envision anything at this point in time.”

      McLaughlin mentioned the university could be interested “down the road” in introducing Bitcoin as a payment method. But, while administrators have had conversations with students about Bitcoin, McLaughlin noted that they so far haven’t spent much time exploring the possibilities of the cryptocurrency on campus.

      “Before we get into it, we’d have to see where the needs are. If it’s for small transactions, our understanding is there are very little transaction fees. So there’s certain things that are appealing—low transaction fees for students,” McLaughlin said.

      He added: “When we do things at SFU, we build things to last. We want to make sure that it’s just not a fad. We want to make sure it’s here to stay.”

      According to McLaughlin, SFU is just as interested in the potential use of a local currency, such as Seedstock, on campus.

      SFU has 30,000 students on campuses in Vancouver, Burnaby, and Surrey.




      Mar 19, 2014 at 5:16pm

      That's why payment gateways like Bitpay exist. You are exposed to zero risk of Bitcoin price fluctuation, and are paid in currency the _next day_ to your bank account. If you run a non profit then it's a free service.

      Would take a few minutes to drop in a 'pay with bitcoin' button on any SFU site, even for tuition using Bitpay just like a credit card gateway would work but for only 1% fee instead of 3-12% fees that visa/mc charges.


      Mar 20, 2014 at 11:11am

      Bitcoin is not money, it is a scam.

      Dear Bobo

      Mar 20, 2014 at 5:47pm

      "Money" is nothing more than a scam too.

      Arthur Vandelay

      Mar 22, 2014 at 6:36am

      If everyone is so worried about transaction fees, why not pay by debit then, it is literally pennies per transaction. Bitcoin seems to be a rage amongst nerds only.