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Wharton Receives Anonymous $5 Million Bitcoin Donation

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The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania announced Thursday that it received an anonymous $5 million gift in the form of Bitcoin — the largest cryptocurrency donation in the university’s history.

The generous contribution will support financial technology programs at the Stevens Center for Innovation in Finance, the Ivy League school said.

The famed fintech center facilitates learning about “the digital currency ecosystem” by engaging students with eminent leaders at financial institutions.

“With finance at the heart, history, and future of the Wharton School, we are honored to receive this incredible gift,” Wharton Dean Erika James said. “This investment marks a new era and mode of giving to the university and lifts up opportunities for students to become tomorrow’s leaders in finance.”

Crypto-Philanthropy

Cryptocurrency, in any form, is one of the ways to donate to the university, senior vice president of development and alumni relations John Zeller told MarketWatch. Along with options to donate in cash or stock, the university’s fundraising page now also has a cryptocurrency link.

Responding to how the school would manage the donation, Zeller said as a general rule the school typically sells crypto the moment it is received to ensure its value does not decline in the event of a market crash.

With such a sizable cryptocurrency gift, Wharton now joins the likes of Carnegie Mellon, UC Berkeley, and MIT, which have also received major donations in the form of cryptocurrency.

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