University Of Puget Sound Receives $10,000 In Bitcoins From Alum

Feb 19, 2014

As a 2007 alum of University of Puget Sound, Nicolas Cary has already established himself. The 28-year-old is the CEO of Blockchain, which runs the world's most popular digital wallet for bitcoin, a virtual currency.

But now he's making headlines for his bitcoin contribution to UPS. Cary has electronically transferred just over 14.5 bitcoins to the university, which was then exchanged into $10,000 actual U.S. dollars. It's reportedly the first donation of its kind to a U.S. college or university.

The online retailer Overstock.com as well as the Sacramento Kings basketball team have started accepting the virtual currency for payment. 

"It's like email for money," Cary said about bitcoin, which has been around since 2009.

Except in the rarest of occasions, Cary only uses bitcoins in everyday life.

"I definitely don't have change in my pocket. Think of how silly that is that coins still exist," he said.

In order to accept the donation, UPS set up an online account with e-commerce processor BitPay, which processed a bill in U.S. dollars. Cary then scanned the invoice using a QR code on his mobile phone. The payment was then ready for deposit into the university's bank account.

Earlier this year, the University of Cumbria in the United Kingdom announced it would start accepting payment for some of its classes in bitcoins. That is not yet the case at UPS, according to spokeswoman Shirley Skeel.