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Thursday, May 29, 2014
DISH To Start Accepting Bitcoin


Pay-TV provider DISH becomes the largest company to accept bitcoin, starting from the third quarter.

DISH has selected Coinbase as the payment processor for bitcoin transactions with its customers who choose to pay their bill online with the bitcoin wallet of their choice. DISH will use Coinbase's Instant Exchange feature to exchange bitcoin payments to U.S. dollars at the moment of the transaction.

Bitcoin is a digital currency that is not backed by any government or central bank and is bought and sold on a peer-to-peer network independent of central control. Users can transfer bitcoins to each other online and store the currency in digital "wallets".

Coinbase is one such digital wallet.

"We always want to deliver choice and convenience for our customers and that includes the method they use to pay their bills," said Bernie Han, DISH executive vice president and chief operating officer. "Bitcoin is becoming a preferred way for some people to transact and we want to accommodate those individuals."

The bitcoin payment option will be available for DISH customers choosing to make one-time payments on mydish.com starting in the third quarter (July 1). DISH will continue to offer the online payment options such as via credit card, debit card or bank account.

The advantage of Bitcoin is that most bitcoin firms such as Coinbase and BitPay do not charge for transactions. On the other hand, credit card companies charge around 3 percent in transaction fees and PayPal's commission can go as high as 4 percent.

However, the skepticism about the future of bitcoin remains, with critics pointing to recent setbacks such as the Mt. Gox bankruptcy.




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