The First Bitcoin Donation?

February 19, 2014

The University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Wash., claims to be the first U.S. institution to receive a donation in the cryptocurrency bitcoin. Nicolas Cary, a 2007 graduate of the university who now serves as the CEO of the bitcoin wallet service Blockchain, on Tuesday donated 14.5 bitcoins, or about $10,000, to the university's alumni fund. 

The university couldn't just cash a check to receive the gift, however. According to a press release, Puget Sound had to create an account with the electronic payment processing service BitPay and bill Cary for $10,000. Cary, who was traveling abroad at the time, scanned a QR code to authorize the payment, which released the funds. The donation was then transferred to the university's BitPay wallet, which could then be withdrawn.

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