Bitcoin, a digital currency once described by critics as unusable, unreliable and even a scam, has defied those remarks as it becomes accepted by a company maintaining over 14 million subscribers and employing 34,000 workers.
DISH executive vice president and chief operating officer, Bernie Han, said beginning in July the satellite TV company will accept digital coins through the payment processor, Coinbase.
Coinbase is a bitcoin consumer wallet and merchant payment processor that powers 1.3 million consumer wallets, and supports 31,000 merchants.
The payment processor, Coinbase, will convert bitcoins to cash using their “Instant Exchange” feature, in order to prevent DISH from being affected by value fluctuations. Coinbase was chosen as the payment processor due to their significantly lower operational fees.
“We’re excited to support DISH and their current and new subscribers for their bitcoin transactions,” said Coinbase co-founder Fred Ehrsam. “This is a large step forward in the growing momentum of customers paying companies in bitcoin for things we do every day, like watching premium TV,” said Ehrsam.
Coinbase will make it extremely easy “to receive immediate credit in dollars, at an attractive cost for DISH,” said Han.
The corporation, which provides cable, internet, audio programming and interactive TV services, is the first only TV provider to accept digital currency as payment.
It’s also the largest company yet to accept bitcoin.
“The move comes amid a time of drastic change and consolidation in the pay-TV and telecommunications industries, while Dish, run by Charlie Ergen, has largely remained on the sidelines,” said The Wall Street Journal.
Customers will soon be able to pay their bills online with the bitcoin wallet of their choice, and still be able to use previous methods of payment including cash, credit card and check.
“We always want to deliver choice and convenience for our customers and that includes the method they use to pay their bills,” said Han.
The cable provider said they recognized a flourishing desire in customers to participate in the digital currency buzz, and also employed many avid bitcoin users.
“Bitcoin is becoming a preferred way for some people to transact and we want to accommodate those individuals,” said Han. Individuals that aren’t so familiar with bitcoin will have no problem learning the ropes. The Coinbase processor is expected to make the experience easy for customers.
The public seems to be quite enamored with DISH’s decision to accept bitcoin, and also supportive of using Coinbase as the payment processor. The San Francisco based company has received several positive reviews since they opened in June 2012.
Redditor user BrazenAmberite wrote: “Easily one of the most professional exchanges out there. I’ve bought a lot of coin on there all without issue.”
Coinbase even has a new feature that allows you to claim a URL and share it with your friends and family, enabling them easily to send you bitcoin.
Reddit0829 wrote: “Don’t forget they also just integrated two huge features, device authentication, and user names. They’ve also really stepped it up in the customer support category. Coinbase is doing big things.”
The relationship created between DISH and Coinbase is sure incite similar moves by other large corporations, further expanding the bitcoin market.
John Bush was born and raised in Austin, Texas where he has become a notorious community activist. He lives on a small farmstead with his wife and fellow rabble-rouser, Catherine Bleish, their daughter, Aliana, and their son William Lysander. Their family raises chickens and maintains a community garden with several friends. John has dedicated over a decade to promoting the ideals of a free society through grassroots mobilization campaigns, speaking on liberty issues across the country, and building alternative institutions. Well versed in precious metals and the barter economy, John has taken a keen interest in Bitcoin, launching a media, marketing, and consulting firm called SovereignBTC, and producing a weekly Bitcoin podcast with the same name. John is also the editor and operator of The Liberty Beat, a daily radio news service which operates entirely on Bitcoin. John and his wife sell chickens and eggs for Bitcoin on their farmstead, The Blush Family Farm. John's interested in spreading the value of Bitcoin and using it help the public understand that we need not rely on governments or corporations to solve our common problems when we have a passion for liberty, a little technology, and a commitment to one another