EduCoin’s appearance in the digital currency ecosystem reminds us of the dawn of the modern internet, when in 1985, the Information Sciences Institute established the seven original Generic Top Level Domains.
While most of the internet gravitated toward the .com suffix, higher learning institutions, on the other hand, introduced its own distinct domain suffix. For institutions and individuals alike the .edu address morphed into something that was both special and highly coveted.
For decades now, students and alumni have nurtured their distinct university email address. It has been for both practical and professional reasons. The .edu address has functioned as an access ID for mundane services like checking out books at the campus library or getting student discounts, but it has also represented a badge of membership to an academic community.
In 2014, we see history repeating itself with a Bitcoin economy starting at MIT. Students will soon be able to buy retail goods and pay for services with Bitcoin on and off campus. You can make the comparison that this parallels the wide availability of personal communication choices such as Gmail, Twitter, and Instagram.
However, there are many education specific contexts where EduCoin could become a better analogue, such as paying school fees, collecting alumni donations, or requesting college transcripts. EduCoin’s blockchain can play a dedicated role for these types of education economy transactions.
To make that happen, developers have an initiative to eventually handover all development rights for EduCoin to a consortium of worldwide universities, or an organization like Educause. Just like in 1985, higher education will have its own easily identifiable bitcoin.