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.