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SFU bookstore expected to accept Bitcoins

By Sara Norman

Simon Fraser University is embracing digital currency. The Metro Vancouver university announced Thursday it will now accept Bitcoin donations, and SFU Bitcoin Club president Michael Yeung says that’s not the only place on campus that the virtual coins are expected to show up.


Yeung says that some time this fall, the bookstore will begin accepting Bitcoins for textbook and other purchases. SFU Ancillary Services executive director Mark McLaughlin says at this point, the university is still looking at feasibility: “By the end of September I’d say we are going to be in a position to say whether we will want to proceed and go further.”

He adds the university is planning a conference on digital currency later this year.

Yeung expects Bitcoins to spread if accepted at the bookstore.

“[SFU is] looking to place Bitcoin ATMs on each of their campuses for students to try out,” he says.

As for paying for tuition by Bitcoin, Yeung wouldn’t comment, and McLaughlin says it’s not on the university’s radar.

“If we accept it at the bookstore it’s for small transactions, $10, $50, but tuition is a different story,” he said.

Digital currency is an attractive way to do business according to Yeung, who points out Bitcoin donations to the university are automatically converted using a payment processor—a better option than credit cards that take a cut of up to 3.5% per transaction. Yeung explains it’s similar to exchanging U.S. cash for Canadian dollars and allows 100% of funds to go to the university.


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