A tech academy in Malaysia is accepting bitcoin as payment for school fees

Yon Heong Tung
A tech academy in Malaysia is accepting bitcoin as payment for school fees

NEXT Academy says students only have to scan a QR code to make payment

Malaysia-based coding and digital marketing school NEXT Academy is now allowing students to pay for their courses in bitcoin, it announced in an official press release. The process involves scanning a QR code on the Academy’s payment page.

Here is how it works:

“Since our operating cost, tax liabilities and accounting are denoted in ringgit, the bitcoin sum we collect from our customer is dynamically calculated through the use of various APIs,” Josh Teng, CEO of NEXT Academy, told e27.

“The price on the payment page has a 5-minute validity (meaning a payment needs to be initiated to our dynamically generated BTC address within 5 minutes),” said Teng.

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“To ensure a good experience for our customers, we will honour bitcoin rates so long as a transaction is propagated to the blockchain network within five minutes even if there isn’t any confirmation within that period. However, we only confirm a sale when three confirmations are visible on the blockchain to prevent double-spend,” he added.

NEXT Academy does not use an external payment gateway to process the transactions; the bitcoin payments go straight into their bitcoin wallet. Once they have received the bitcoin, they would immediately change them to fiat currency.

“We may in future choose to keep some bitcoin as a form of investment once the IRB (Inland Revenue Board) has better clarification on how cryptocurrency investments are taxed,” said Teng.

Teng said there is a possibility that bitcoin network might become too congested, resulting in transactions not being confirmed for hours and days.

“We currently do not account for this risk except to inform customers to ensure that they use at least the average transaction fee at the time of payment,” said Teng.

“If this becomes a big problem, we have plans to programmatically hedge such risk by shorting the equal amount of bitcoin we are supposed to receive. And that would completely mitigate any exchange fluctuation risk if a transaction is taking too long for confirmation,” he added.

When pressed on whether he was worried about bitcoin’s price fluctuations on the academy’s revenue, Teng said:

“Ultimately, we are not overly concerned about bitcoin’s volatility. We always ensure that we have sufficient non-debt funded cash flow to operate for a good period of time even with minimal revenue.”

“In the longer term, my personal opinion is that not all, but a few cryptocurrencies’ value will only increase and so if we ever do hold cryptocurrencies, we would diversify our risk into a few coins that we actually believe in.”

NEXT Academy is not the first educational institute to accept school fees in bitcoin. Universities in Europe have also began embracing bitcoin as payment.

Image Credit: NEXT Academy

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