“(Penn) is delighted to announce a new anonymous gift of $5 million in the form of Bitcoin – the largest cryptocurrency gift the University has ever received,” it said.
Penn receives Bitcoin
Facilitated by NYDIG, an American company that provides Bitcoin technology and financial services, the landmark commitment will support the growth of programs within the Stevens Center for Innovation in Finance at the Wharton School.
We’re honored to facilitate the largest gift in the form of #Bitcoin for the University of Pennsylvania. This commitment will support program growth and student leadership opportunities within the Stevens Center for Innovation in Finance at @Wharton. https://t.co/UURwCNutZh pic.twitter.com/aqVkWhrOth
— NYDIG (@NYDIG_BTC) May 20, 2021
The Stevens Center for Innovation in Finance was established with the support and partnership of 1991 Wharton undergraduate alumnus Ross Stevens and remains a top entity for education and research in the field of fintech, a rising area of interest among Penn students.
As such, Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies are considered by many as a part of the broader ‘FinTech’ space, one that has grown massively in the past few years with the rise of ‘challenger’ banks and other user-centric financial applications.
“With finance at the heart, history, and future of the Wharton School, we are honored to receive this incredible gift,” said Wharton Dean Erika James in a statement.
She added, “This investment marks a new era and mode of giving to the University and lifts up opportunities for students to become tomorrow’s leaders in finance – through exceptional coursework and transformative interactions with policymakers and industry experts.”
Crypto to unis
Crypto donations have previously made their way to US schools by other crypto companies via different cryptocurrencies. In February last year, Cardano parent company IOHK donated $500,000 to the University of Wyoming with the aim of helping the school develop its blockchain prowess.
In 2019, Ripple donated $2 million worth of XRP to the University of Kansas to support research related to cryptocurrency, blockchain, and digital payments.
And while crypto firms are giving, some universities are participating in the industry as well. Just last month, the University of Wyoming said it would appropriate $4 million worth of cryptocurrencies to test out the ‘staking’ capabilities of various networks, marking the first-ever such move of its kind.
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