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“13.35 bitcoin, please” – the new currency price for studies at the University of Nicosia in Cyprus. On 21 November, the University of Nicosia announced that it will accept bitcoin as a payment for tuition fees and other payments at the institution, alongside the Euro, Cyprus’ official currency.
Introduced in 2008, the digital bitcoin currency has increasingly drawn attention as a more and more accepted means of payment. Whereas its initial usage was restricted to online transactions, a growing number of restaurants, bars and hotels around the world started to accept bitcoin payments. With a current exchange rate of BTC 1 – EUR 669.69 bitcoin claims to offer various advantages to its users such as payment freedom, no or low transaction fees and fewer risks for merchants. The recent announcement of the University of Nicosia has boosted news around the bitcoin currency and its increasing legitimacy.
Although one might be inclined to assume that Cyprus’ banking crisis must have been the main trigger for the newly announced acceptance of bitcoins, the University of Nicosia claims that it would simply respond to an increasing demand from international students to pay in bitcoin. The university’s announcement comes accompanied by a clever move to promote its new Master’s degree programme on digital currencies, the first of its kind.