The growing popularity of bitcoins reaches out to universities globally, as the University of Zurich and MIT come up with initiatives to engage students with the virtual currency
Published: September 3, 2014 at 7:41 am EST
By: Troy Kuhn
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Students at University of Zurich have launched a bitcoin (BTC) app called CoinBlesk, in which transactions involving bitcoins will be facilitated through a mobile device. Developed as part of a student project, the app is on a two-week trial period and is being tested in the university’s cafeteria.
CoinBlesk has a bitcoin payment server, which will be aided by two-way near field communication (NFC) to execute bitcoin payments between users. Students can either maintain their CoinBlesk wallets online or access their bitcoins through a bitcoin ATM that will be installed soon.
The bitcoin ATM, manufactured by BitAccess, will be placed near the cafeteria. However, it will be operated by the Swiss bitcoin startup SBEX.
The two-way NFC feature makes CoinBlesk even more convenient for users, as it is not necessary for both parties to have access to an internet connection in order to transact. This feature also helps in carrying out bitcoin payments in areas where there is no internet connection or weak mobile signal coverage.
There are, however, certain requirements before the app can be used. Users should own a smartphone that has Android version 4.4 (KitKat) or higher. The device should also include the NFC software.
CoinBlesk was developed as a result of a joint effort by doctoral students and university professors. The lead developer, Dr Thomas Bocek, claims that the idea began to be taken seriously since last year when he lectured on the need for a bitcoin payments system through which buyers and sellers can transact directly.