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Jun 14, 2014 02:30 AM EDT

King's College: First United States School to Accept Bitcoin for Tuition

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The King's College becomes the first accredited United States University to accept Bitcoin for tuition, beginning this fall.

Through a partnership with merchant processor Coin.co, the four-year conservative evangelical college in the New York City is now accepting the digital currency for expenses and donations. The officials said that this mode of payment will do away with the 2-3 percent transaction fees charged to the college when students pay tuition via credit card. Coin.co does not have transaction fees.

"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," King's College President Dr. Gregory Alan Thornbury said in a statement.

King's College in Lower Manhattan charges $15,950 a semester for 12 to 18 credits. In the digital currency, a semester's tuition costs about 28 bitcoin, TIME reports.

Thornbury is unsure as to how many students will take advantage of the new payment method. He compares the impact of the bitcoins to the financial system with the advent of email in the 1990s.

"It seems to be fairly similar to email 20 years ago," Thornbury said. "Why would we need that? And then everybody has one," NY Times reports.

Besides King's College, several other higher educational institutions have caught up to Bitcoin trends. Both - University of Nicosia and the UK's University of Cumbria - accept Bitcoin for payment of fees. In February, a University of Puget Sound alumnus made a gift of $10,000 via bitcoin although the Tacoma school does not have an bitcoin payment policy.

Bitcoin, the computer-driven currency introduced in 2009 by developer Satoshi Nakamoto, has steadily cemented its place in the finance sector. It is a peer-to-peer currency that operates without any central authority or banks.

The digital currency can be used to buy airline tickets, donate to a political campaign or pay a satellite TV bill among others. Bitcoin's price has risen from a few cents to its current price of about $600 in just five years.

However, critics warn of the currency's potential for scams and its volatility. Recently, federal prosecutors closed Silk Road, the popular Bitcoin marketplace, for facilitating drug deals and other illegal transactions.

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