That Time We Gave $500,000 in Bitcoin to College Kids

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Dan Elitzer is a digital identity lead at venture RD firm IDEO coLAB and the founder of the MIT Bitcoin Club. Jeremy Rubin is a Bitcoin Core developer and co-founder of the MIT Digital Currency Initiative.

In this “Bitcoin Milestones” entry, Elitzer and Rubin recall their efforts as MIT undergrads to boost bitcoin, using a mock interview with CoinDesk to tell the story of how they once distributed $500,000 in BTC to MIT’s entire undergraduate population.

milestones, eha

MIT, bitcoin

CoinDesk: Where did the idea for the MIT Bitcoin Project come from?

Jeremy: I started following bitcoin in late 2011. My sophomore fall, I did a hackathon project called Tidbit with some friends. Tidbit aimed to use browser-based bitcoin mining to replace online ad monetization, but that’s a different story.

About six weeks into the spring term, laying in bed one night, I was brainstorming project ideas for a class. I wanted to study the social implications of bitcoin. It just kind of came to me all at once: “I should give $100 in bitcoin to every computer science student at MIT and see what happens.”

I started shooting off

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