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My Brotherhood Treasury has adopted Bitcoin

Credit to Hannah Cron of Lumination Network During the summer of 2021, the Sigma Alpha fraternity at Lipscomb University decided to put a large percentage of their cash reserves in bitcoin, keep it on their balance sheet and accept dues in bitcoin through the Lightning Network. It was passed unanimously and implemented shortly afterwards. At the height of the move in November, Sigma Alpha’s treasury had increased in value by 70% from their original purchase. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to cover this story from an inside perspective as director of the fraternity. I was a key director in this process, along with President Sean Hagan, Vice President Mason Nam, and Treasurer Cole Warren. I am pleased to announce that we are the first fraternal organization in the nation to hold bitcoin on our balance sheet and accept dues in bitcoin. This is a huge milestone for not only the fraternity, but student organizations around the world. The organization’s Fiat dilemma The directors ran into a dilemma in the summer of 2021 while we were planning and anticipating the start of a new school semester, a dilemma that many other organizations also faced, I think: “ How can we, as a cash-only student organization, maintain our purchasing power during such a high inflation period?” Sean and I were very orange at the time, so he suggested I follow Saylor’s lead and put bitcoin on our balance sheet. We then moved on to the obvious solution of accepting dues in bitcoin as a means of increasing our exposure. This was a very popular choice among members and we believe it is a factor that contributed to the unanimity of the next vote to adopt a Bitcoin standard. This served two purposes for us: first, it helped us diversify our money into an asset that would hold its purchasing power significantly better than fiat. And second, it gave club members an incentive to track bitcoin price and learn more about bitcoin. This was very successful with a majority of our members now owning bitcoin themselves. Why should student organizations implement Bitcoin? Not only will student organizations benefit from the adoption of bitcoin, the asset, but they will also significantly improve their operations by adopting Bitcoin, the monetary network. Bitcoin, the network was founded by Satoshi Nakomoto with the specific goal of giving the people or organizations using it monetary freedom and improving the way they conduct their business. This was our premise behind accepting bitcoin dues through the Lightning Network, because it’s actually a faster, more transparent, and better way to conduct peer-to-peer transactions for our organization. Some campuses even require their organizations to keep their assets in an account managed by the university itself. Bitcoin resolves this and returns custody of the assets to the organization. Ultimately, even student organizations will have to protect their purchasing power during periods of high inflation. Historically, since the last century we have been able to conclude that the Federal Reserve Board cannot be trusted to protect ourselves from this phenomenon. Since it was recently announced that the consumer price index will exceed 7% year-to-date, this is the largest annual increase we have seen since the period ending in June 1982. Since bitcoin is a fixed asset that grows at the rate of moves lightly, now have the chance to take this responsibility into their own hands. The result is not only protected purchasing power, but also an increase in custody and value. By taking on this responsibility, you as an individual can not only use this modern technology, but also educate yourself through experience. This education will ultimately be more valuable to you than the actual gain the possession can bring. For students specifically, it is important to educate yourself beyond the confines of the university system due to the rapidly changing landscape of traditional finance. By working with this next-generation technology, it will increase its decentralization and decrease the power of the centralized control system. Therefore, this is not only an explanation of why you should buy bitcoin, but also a call to action to educate yourself in areas where you otherwise would not have been able to. This may sound intimidating to the average user. Many are often afraid to embrace new technology that is difficult to understand from the outside. But I can assure you that it is actually very simple and ultimately liberating. It is easy to use, easy to implement and easy to understand with the right mindset. Ultimately, it is your choice to hold yourself to this standard, but I strongly encourage you to do so. How does a student organization implement Bitcoin? For starters, there should be a call to action for students who want bitcoin and the study of Austrian economics to be properly implemented within the fabric of academia. This may look different per university, but the core objective must remain the same. A second step is to encourage other fraternities, sororities, and student-led organizations to study and implement bitcoin themselves. If the education system continues to refuse to teach basic economic concepts and monetary freedom, then leadership actions must be taken by student-driven organizations to fill this void. I encourage you, if you are a student reading this article, to start a Bitcoin club in your university. I bet you will be surprised by the interest in students who want to learn more and be informed about the subject. If you are a professor reading this and looking to get involved, you should sponsor the club and give these students guidance on how to properly educate themselves and increase their discernment. A great place to start is reading Saifedean Ammous’s “The Bitcoin Standard” and opening a discussion, challenging each other to understand these concepts. If that goes well, follow Ammous’ “The Fiat Standard.” Both books have been put together for this reason and would form a very solid foundation for your club. The last step is to buy bitcoin. And keep buying more bitcoin. I know this sounds very cliché and bromide, but it is at the heart of what bitcoin is. To fully embrace bitcoin, you need to start stacking sats. The best way to do this is to start using Strike as your new Venmo. Ordered pizza for you and your roommates? Bought tickets for the match with your debit card? Request them from Strike for the dollar amount they owe you. But instead of receiving the payment in USD, you receive the payment in the hardest money in the world, bitcoin. And the best thing about it? NO COSTS! You can transfer it back to your bank account if you wish, just like Venmo. You can also download Strike as a Google Chrome extension, so wherever you are, you are in control of your bitcoin. You can download it here. Final Thoughts As of January 2022, Sigma Alpha has taken action to not only be a bitcoin holding organization, but to be a small piece in the “hyperbitcoinization” of the entire world. We hope to be a light for other organizations who want to follow in our footsteps or who have asked the same questions as us. We also want to highlight the misguided opinions about Bitcoin within academia. This requires us to resist the constant pressure on education systems to allow their students to participate in the traditional education systems mainly influenced and convinced by business. I encourage you to take control of your financial destiny and implement bitcoin in your everyday life. Educate first, then execute. These two steps will create the largest paradigm shift the world has ever seen, starting with student-led organizations and the Trojans like Sigma Alpha, who decided to take a risk for the betterment of humanity. This is a guest post from Chris Smith. The opinions expressed are entirely their own and do not necessarily reflect those of BTC Inc or Bitcoin Magazine.
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