Georgia Tech will become the first university to allow bitcoin payments for stadium concessions, student dining and shopping, the university and virtual money payment processor BitPay announced Wednesday.
After purchasing bitcoins with real money, consumers store the virtual money in an online wallet and transfer an amount to a seller’s virtual wallet to pay for products and services.
As a result, bitcoin users cut out the middleman (banks and credit card processors) and pay sellers directly. A computer or smartphone app transfers ownership of the bitcoins from the buyer to the seller.
BitPay says it will place point-of-sale devices in the student section of Bobby Dodd Stadium, and the Barnes & Noble store in Tech Square will have a bitcoin terminal for student credit BuzzCards.
“At Georgia Tech, we are always looking to lead in innovative ways, and this partnership with BitPay gives us an opportunity to do so by integrating this new technology at a sports venue and in the daily lives of our students,” said Georgia Tech Athletic Director Mike Bobinski.
The popularity of bitcoins is growing despite the volatile nature of their value and inherent risk since they lack federal monetary protections.
This week PayPal recently began allowing merchants to start accepting bitcoin payments after striking payment-processing deals with BitPay, Coinbase and GoCoin, which turn the coins into dollars for merchants for a percentage of the transaction. Merchants like the virtual transactions because don’t have to pay higher fees to banks and credit card processors.
How comfortable are you with using virtual currencies such as bitcoins?