May 19, 2014, 2:31 PM — If you've been interested in bitcoin, the digital, decentralized currency that's starting to go mainstream, I have good news and bad news for you. The good news is you can grab $10 worth of bitcoin to play with today. The bad news is you need to be a college student or at least have an .edu email address from a major college.
Bitcoin wallet service Coinbase is offering the promotion. Sign up to use Coinbase with your .edu email address, and you could get free bitcoin. According to CoinDesk, currently one bitcoin is worth $444.30, so you'll get 0.0225 bitcoin to equal $10. You can also get $1 more for each person you refer to Coinbase With the price of bitcoin rising and falling dramatically as it has over the last few years since it was created, that fraction of a bitcoin could be worth a lot...or very little. In any case it's free.
Coinbase's fine print, however, limits this freebiee to .edus for the "top 500 universities worldwide." There's no list of the 500 universities that qualify, but hundreds of students from the University of Illinois, Berkeley, Purdue, UCLA, Rutgers, MIT, and others have already signed up to get $10 of bitcoin.
It's a limited, first-come, first-served promotion, so better go get your free bitcoin while they're still worth something. (And be sure to spend it on something nice. You can use your bitcoin at Gyft for Amazon, Target, CVS, and other gift cards.)
Boy, I still wish I was in college (or had an alumni .edu address).
Read more of Melanie Pinola’s Tech IT Out blog and follow the latest IT news at ITworld. Follow Melanie on Twitter at @melaniepinola. For the latest IT news, analysis and how-tos, follow ITworld on Twitter and Facebook.