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Bitcoin Gift to U. of Puget Sound Could Be a First

The University of Puget Sound, a private institution in Tacoma, Wash., has received a $10,000 Bitcoin donation that could be the first to a college in the United States. The digital currency was transferred to the university last week and converted into dollars using the e-commerce processor BitPay.

The gift was made by Nicolas Cary, chief executive of the Bitcoin site Blockchain and a Puget Sound alumnus. He said he had always wanted to give back to the university and had used Bitcoin because it’s the main currency in his life and career.

The Bitcoin transaction occurred on February 11, and the transfer into Puget Sound’s bank account was made final early Tuesday morning. Although the university had no experience using the currency, there were no reported problems with the transfer.

Bitcoin is a decentralized digital currency exchanged over the Internet without intermediaries or regulations. The University of Cumbria, in Britain, and the University of Nicosia, in Cyprus, recently announced that they would accept the currency as tuition payment, but no American college has yet approved it for that purpose.

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