The University of Zurich, one of the largest universities in Switzerland, is undertaking a trial project involving integrating a bitcoin payment solution made by students into one of its Cafeterias for a period of two weeks. The solution is called CoinBlesk and uses a mobile platform where a technology called two-way near-field communication has been used. This solution was developed as part of students’ contribution to open source Bitcoin tool.
With this system, students are expected to put money into their CoinBlesk wallet through an online portal or via a new Bitcoin ATM machine which is expected to be installed at the university. According to the project advisor, Professor Dr. Burkhard Stiller, the Bitcoin ATM will aid the trial process of CoinBlesk and the two will work alongside one another. With the Bitcoin ATM, all those willing to make payment using Bitcoins will find it easy to do so.
The Bitcoin ATM which the university installed was produced by BitAccess firm which is owned by Switzerland-based Bitcoin stock broker SBEX and is strategic for use in all bitcoin transactions. The Bitcoin is located near Mensa UZH Binzmuhle, within the campus.
Though coinBlesk has just been launched, it’s a result of several months of hard work coding and time consumption in consultation and review meetings involving a team of nine group members that partly constitutes students of the University as well as some doctors from the same institution.
Other key players in the development of CoinBlesk include the University’s Dr. Thomas Bocek who played the role of project coordinator and developer. Interestingly, it turns out that the project is a result of a lecture Dr. Thomas gave back in 2013 which extensively covered Bitcoinas a payment solution. Majority of the students did not see the sense in the project; however three students saw the intended end product and embraced it.
This bitcoin payment system faced some challenges at the beginning but when Google introduced host card emulation technology, the main hurdles got fixed and the project became a real success. This system is an easy point of sale (POS) experience for sellers and buyers. For any transaction to go through you only need one party to go online at the time of transaction to complete it.
At the University level, this project is a great success and also it’s a great milestone for SBEX, a Geneva based Bitcoin Company, which recently got approval from Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) to set up several bitcoin ATMs after the initial challenges.
Romain Braud, the head of Business Development at SBEX stated that with the support from the University, SBEX will also extend a special offer to the university so as to improve Bitcoin popularity.
The University of Zurich bitcoin project is key and significant in the technology world because the University is considered the largest higher learning institution going by the advertised enrollment numbers in Switzerland. Though some universities did install Bitcoin ATMs and even developed such an application which can be deployed locally, University of Zurich’s application is considered the most outstanding.