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A month before the U.K. is set to leave the European Union, a long-feared exodus of financiers from London hasn’t yet materialized.
WSJ.com: What’s News Europe
Digital asset holders and organizations have been donating funds to a number of well-known universities. These days a slew of popular colleges like Stanford, MIT, Cornell, Puget Sound, and Princeton all accept digital currency donations or have high-net-worth crypto backers funding these schools. On the flip side of higher education, many of the world’s prestigious universities also offer elective courses that teach blockchain technology.
Universities See an Increasing Trend of Cryptocurrency Donors
One growing trend has been the way in which the digital currency ecosystem is fueling education through cryptocurrency donations and backers. For instance, during the first week of January 2019, entrepreneur Mike Novogratz donated some of his cryptocurrency profits to Princeton’s Bridge Year Program. The initiative allows students to get sponsored by schools so they can live and study abroad for nine months in areas like China, Bolivia, Senegal, Indonesia, and India. The CEO of Galaxy Digital is a member of Princeton’s class of 1987 who earned a degree in economics.
“Proud to put some of our crypto winnings (2017) to a good cause. A year living in a different culture can change your life for the better. Build bridges, not walls,” Novogratz told his 114,000 followers on Twitter.
Then there’s the list of Stanford’s corporate donors who help fund the school’s engineering section. Stanford’s endowed faculty chairs and fellowship organizations include the Ethereum Foundation, Vechain, and Omisego. During the first week of 2019, Holberton School in New Haven received $ 10,000 worth of BTC from the Scroll Network’s founder Nathan Pitruzzello. Back in November 2017, the Echolink Foundation donated $ 50,000 worth of BTC to UC Berkeley. In 2014, the co-founder and vice chairman of Blockchain, Nicolas Cary, donated $ 10,000 to the University of Puget Sound. Cary’s donation of 14.5 BTC used Bitpay to facilitate the transfer, which would be worth $ 58,000 today, but the gift was turned into fiat immediately.
The Largest Endowment Funds in Higher Education Are Investing in the Cryptocurrency Ecosystem
Furthermore, universities with huge financial endowments are hedging with cryptocurrency funds as well. Last May, sources familiar with the matter explained that Ivy League school Yale had invested in the cryptocurrency fund Paradigm. Yale’s endowment is the second-largest in higher education and Paradigm is backed by Pantera Capital’s Charles Noyes and Coinbase cofounder Fred Ehrsam. Moreover, on Feb. 21, public documents revealed that the endowment of the University of Michigan has backed a cryptocurrency investment fund supervised by Andreessen Horowitz. Yale and the University of Michigan are not the only endowments investing in cryptocurrency related ventures, as MIT, Stanford and Harvard are knee-deep in digital asset funds as well.
42 Percent of the Globe’s Top 50 Universities Offer Crypto Courses
Tech publication The Information’s research report says that many Ivy League schools are invested in at least one or more crypto related investments. Moreover, a great majority of the universities that have endowments invested in digital assets or have received digital asset donations offer cryptocurrency-related courses. Most of these schools also provide students with academic credits for courses on smart contracts and blockchains. Both the Holberton School in New Haven and Boston’s MIT offer students graduate certificates that are processed using the BTC chain.
Because of the level of innovation involved, higher education and crypto technology go hand-in-hand, and trends over the last few years have shown how they share a symbiotic relationship. This has led to 42 percent of the globe’s top 50 universities offering at least one accredited course that teaches blockchain-related research. A Coinbase research study details that because schools are offering these lessons, students are becoming interested in learning about the digital currency ecosystem. For instance, the report explains that David Yermack, the finance department chair at New York University Stern School of Business, created a blockchain course in 2014 and 35 students registered for the lesson, which is a few less people than many of the school’s traditional electives. The study reveals that by the spring of 2018, Stern had to move the class to the largest auditorium because students registering for the course spiked to 230.
What do you think about school endowments getting involved with cryptocurrency funds and backers donating large sums of digital assets to universities? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.
Image credits: Shutterstock, Stanford, Coinbase Reports, Twitter, and Pixabay.
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CNN.com – RSS Channel – Regions – Americas
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WSJ.com: What’s News Asia
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Treasurer in the U.S. state of Ohio Robert Sprague has revealed that at least two companies have paid their taxes using bitcoin since the state launched its cryptocurrency payment platform in December. Sprague did not disclose details pertaining to the amount or companies involved, citing confidentiality.
State to Review BTC Tax Payments
Speaking at a forum organised by the Ohio State Associated Press on Feb. 19, Republican politician Robert Sprague said: “We’re reviewing how [the program] might be either curtailed or might be expanded, and what our counter-party risk is with that vendor.”
Ohio became the first U.S. state to accept cryptocurrency as a means of payment for taxes late last year. Sprague told journalists about his experiences with the BTC payment option on the state platform ohiocrypto.com, established in December by Josh Mandel whom he succeeded in January.
According to the new treasurer, Ohio doesn’t actually receive or hold bitcoin, but Bitpay, the company hired by the state to process the bitcoin payments, converts the virtual currency into fiat money before it is sent to the Ohio treasury.
Bitpay takes 1 percent commission on the transaction as payment. Companies intending to pay taxes in crypto will typically have to register and create accounts on the state’s tax payment platform and submit details about their tax obligations, including tax period and the outstanding amount.
When the project was launched three months ago, Sprague indicated that the move would help to improve the ease of doing business in Ohio and attract new business. “We applaud the pilot that makes Ohio more business-friendly and sets us up as a leader in cryptocurrency. We will evaluate both currency and counter-party risk once we enter the office to see about the future,” Sprague was quoted as saying on cleverland.com. Lawmakers in Ohio are looking to turn the state into a major centre for cryptocurrency and the blockchain industry.
British Lawmaker Lobbies for Payment of Bills in Crypto
In the United Kingdom, member of parliament Eddie Hughes proposed in December that taxpayers should have the option to pay council tax and utility bills in cryptocurrencies such as BTC. The 50 year-old conservative legislator for the Walsall North constituency said the move would place the country at the forefront of digital currency adoption in Europe.
“You’re either ahead of the curve or you’re behind the curve, and our country is in an interesting position right now – we need to be seen as a progressive country,” Hughes said at the time. “We are at a crossroads and we’re about to determine our future – one in which taking the lead in this field could prove very beneficial.”
Regulators throughout the world have complained that cryptocurrencies are risky, and repeatedly alleged that they help to fuel money laundering and terrorism while placing investor funds at the mercy of fraudsters. Their alarmist entreaties have ramped up pressure on governments to act, with many promulgating a series of regulations ostensibly designed to safeguard the public and prevent the risk of financial instability.
What do you think about paying taxes in BTC? Let us know in the comments section below.
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