SA-based higher learning institution Red and Yellow - Creative School of Business has confirmed its acceptance of Bitcoin as an additional payment model for all degrees, advanced diplomas, certificates and online courses – and claims to be the first in the country to offer the option.
Chairman Rob Stokes says all courses will remain priced in Rands (approximately R175,500 to 1 BTC) and a potential student will merely pay the Bitcoin equivalent so the cost of Bitcoin will not impact the student.
Stokes said the institution believes South Africa is home to a growing number of budding entrepreneurs who have done well in Bitcoin investments.
"The reality is that Bitcoin is here to stay and with many youngsters having made a good return on their investment in cryptocurrencies, they now want to use this digital cash to invest in their education, as future leaders," he added.
Stokes also said the institution doesn't store the Bitcoin, but exchanges it for Rands immediately, "unless there is a compelling reason not to do so at a particular time."
Whilst Red and Yellow doesn't have a physical presence outside of South Africa, Stokes said it currently serves a rapidly increasing number of students from across the continent and globally, both as full time international students doing degrees and diplomas on its campus and students taking online short courses from their home countries.
Another SA institution, the University of Cape Town (UCT) recently launched a FinTech degree which would combine finance, technology and entrepreneurship, with the aim to disrupt the financial services industry.
A statement from UCT stated that, "Blockchain is a broad technology that allows companies to store information in a distributed and cryptographically secured database. This makes it possible to store information in a way that is easily accessible and fully transparent, but completely secure at the same time."
In Africa, cryptocurrencies and Blockchain technology has gained momentum within the payment solutions market. Mark Casey, Global Media & Entertainment and TMT Africa Leader at Deloitte said, "While some applications of Blockchain technology may still seem far-fetched, payment-focused use cases have already been proved to work.
The World Bank's Blockchain in Financial Services in Emerging Markets Part II report notes that 70% of all transactions in Kenya are already digital, "With relatively small legacy systems in the region, the adoption of Blockchain becomes easier due to lower transition costs and less cultural resistance."