I have been further investigating a closed resource from W08’s OER called Treehouse because I am considering buying their product. I noticed that the company proudly accepts Bitcoin, touting its crucial role in increasing access to education. Moreover, dozens of educational institutions are now accepting Bitcoin claiming that it lowers the cost of education! Consider the following statements from ventures and institutions accepting Bitcoin:
“As one of the fastest growing payment methods, Bitcoin will give more people across the world the opportunity to learn with Treehouse. Our mission is to bring affordable Technology education to people everywhere, in order to help them achieve their dreams and change the world, and we believe that Bitcoin can help us accomplish that.” – Treehouse
“The King’s College seeks to transform society by preparing students for careers in which they help to shape and eventually to lead strategic public and private institutions. Allowing Bitcoin to be used to pay for a King’s education decreases our costs while simultaneously allowing our students to be a part of this exciting new technology.” – The King’s College, NYC, US
“Digital currency will create more efficient services and will serve as a mechanism for spreading financial services to under-banked regions of the world. In this light, we consider it appropriate that we implement digital currency as a method of payment across all our institutions in all cities and countries of our operations.” – University of Nicosia, Cyprus
Treehouse reports that learners’ most often pay with credit card, which usual cost 2-3% per transaction. Furthermore, international students need not bother with fluctuating currency exchange rates. Everyone also enjoys Bitcoin’s minimal transaction fees. Although Bitcoin currently has a high buy-in, the popularity of other cryptocurrencies is also rising.
Here are three questions to consider about the developing future role of cryptocurrencies in the marketplace of education:
1.Is it inevitable that ventures in education technology will accept cryptocurrency as a standard method of payment?
2.Are cryptocurrencies a reliable source of funds for small start-ups like Treehouse?
3.Most importantly, are ventures and institutions accepting cryptocurrency truly empowering learners?