ESMT Berlin is first German university to accept bitcoins as means of payment

ESMT Berlin accepts bitcoins

ESMT Berlin is first German university to accept bitcoins as means of payment

ESMT Berlin is the first German institute of higher education to accept the digital currency bitcoin as a general means of payment for its degree and executive education programs. Bitcoins are a decentralized virtual peer-to-peer currency and can now be used for all payments to ESMT. Similar to an SMS, the digital currency enables worldwide money transfers within a few minutes without involving a bank.

“ESMT is an innovative and future-oriented business school,” says Georg Garlichs, CFO of ESMT. “Integrating bitcoin as a routine method of payment is a logical consequence of digitalization. Especially for international transactions from countries without a well-functioning banking system, the digital currency offers great advantages through the immediate, practically free-of-charge transfer. This makes bitcoins attractive to us as a means of accepted payment.”

Bitcoin is the most well-developed blockchain application. Blockchain enables a digital, decentralized ledger, while cryptographic encryption also makes counterfeiting more difficult. “In addition to reducing transaction costs and providing P2P marketplaces, blockchain also facilitates individual marketing of personal data. This is a feature that offers the data owner an improved position when negotiating with the users of data, especially in the age of big data,” says Christoph Burger, blockchain expert at ESMT.

Bitcoin: What is it and why is it important?

Excerpted from Bitcoin.com — Bitcoin is a consensus network that enables a new payment system and a completely digital money. It is the first decentralized peer-to-peer (P2P) payment network that is powered by its users with no central authority or middlemen. From a user perspective, Bitcoin is perhaps best described as ‘cash for the Internet’, but Bitcoin can also be seen as the most prominent triple entry bookkeeping system in existence.

It is also known as digital cash, cryptocurrency, an international payment network, the internet of money – but whatever you call it, Bitcoin is a revolution that is changing the way everyone sees and uses money.

The beauty of Bitcoin is that it requires no central servers or third-party clearing houses to settle transactions – all payments are peer-to-peer and are settled in about 10 minutes – unlike credit card payments, which can take weeks or months before they’re finally settled.

All Bitcoin transactions are recorded permanently on a distributed ledger called the “blockchain” – this ledger is shared between all full Bitcoin “miners” and “nodes” around the world, and is publicly-viewable. These miners and nodes verify transactions and keep the network secure. For the electricity they use to do this, miners are rewarded with new bitcoins with each 10-minute block (the reward is currently 12.5 BTC per block).

The Bitcoin protocol is also hard-limited to 21 million bitcoins, meaning that no more than that can ever be created. This means that no central bank, individual or government can come along and simply ‘print’ more bitcoins when it suits them. In this sense Bitcoin is a deflationary currency, and as such is likely to grow in value based on this property alone.