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.