Video Of The Week: The MIT Bitcoin Experiment

Two and a half years ago, MIT gave every undergraduate enrolled at the school $100 of Bitcoin. I helped to fund this experiment at that time. I thought it was a great way to “infect” young engineers with blockchain enthusiasm.

MIT Sloan Professor Christian Catalini has studied the ~3,500 MIT students who took the $100 Bitcoin offer and looked at what they ended up doing with it.

Here is a talk he gave last fall in which he discussed the results of his research.


Comments (Archived):

  1. jason wright

    The very last question asked in the video in presently of greatest interest to me.are you a blockchain protocol maximalist, that ultimately only one blockchain protocol will win out and all decentralised applications will run on it and only it?

  2. Richard

    Those with financial interests are sure to ignore Jamie Diamonds call on bitcoin, but it is difficult to disagree with Jamie Diamonds analysis.

    1. jason wright

      Which is what?

  3. William Mougayar

    It was a foresighted experiment, but the results as presented underwhelmed me.I was expecting to hear about what the students did with the bitcoins. – what’s the total value of these wallets now? At market, it should be now close to $2.5 M. – any stories from any student that re-invested it in other cryptocurrencies and turned the $100 into $10,000?

    1. avip

      My take is the results were so meaningless they had to fallback to the pretty arbitrary focus on adoption s-curve. It seems a great experiment that provided 0 interesting insights as presented.

    2. jason wright

      i’m sure it kept an academic gainfully employed on a research grant.

    3. Twain Twain

      I wish I was one of the MIT students in that experiment!

      1. William Mougayar

        what would you have done? hindsight is always 20/20 🙂

    4. Ronnie Rendel

      what % of those btc were used to buy weed on Alpha Bay?

  4. Piers Gibbon

    Thanks for sharing this Fred. Hope it is ok to ask for help here? Are there any technically experienced BLOCKCHAIN/IoT enthusiasts? We are in the finals for this 10k prize and we are looking for potential team members. Adriaan Pelzer and I wrote a proposal for using blockchain and IoT to facilitate sharing of tools/gardens/cars/compost/decision-making and everything in and between local communities (we live in Omega Works Hackney Wick in London). Read the website and send me a couple of paragraphs in an email if you fit the bill (piers AT piersgibbon dot com). Tiny possibility of paid work in the future but right now it’s unpaid and voluntary – for experienced enthusiasts only – sorry! It will be Open Source – the results will be given free to the world…and so you can be anywhere in the world if you want to help us! http://www.iot-greener-citi