Skilljar Blog

Announcing Bitcoin for online education

Posted by Sandi Lin on July 16, 2014

We're excited to announce that instructors using the Skilljar course platform are now accepting payments in Bitcoin.

Skilljar enables instructors to deliver online courses directly from their own websites. Instructors using our platform are teaching video-based lifelong learning courses, from yoga to leadership to computer programming. If you are a consumer looking to spend Bitcoin, here are a few ideas on what to learn:

Bitcoin Screenshot

Why we believe in Bitcoin

Because our platform enables instructors to deliver online courses, an entirely digital product, we've seen high international demand from both instructors and students.

We've long accepted international payments through standard payment methods (credit, debit, and PayPal). But there are several currency conversion steps involved, often with 2% fees taken out each time. These fees are inefficient, yet difficult to avoid without resorting to international wire transfers or setting up local bank accounts in each country.

Bitcoin, on the other hand, is a virtual currency that moves easily around the world with the click of a button.

The tipping point

Ultimately our decision to enable Bitcoin for online courses was driven by 3 factors:

  1. Our instructors wanted it: We received several requests from our instructors to accept Bitcoin for student payments.
  2. Integration was easy and secure: We already use Stripe for payment processing. Their beta program for Bitcoin enabled us to launch quickly without having to integrate a new service throughout our e-commerce platform. Stripe also handles security and currency conversion, so our instructors do not bear additional risk. By going through Stripe, we do not have to hold Bitcoins nor build any Bitcoin-specific infrastructure.
  3. Our business is international: As a digital platform, our business is inherently international. We feel the pain of currency conversion fees on a daily basis.

We're excited that instructors using Skilljar's course platform are now accepting Bitcoin across hundreds of online courses. For more information, check out our press release here.

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