Satellite TV service provider Dish Network Corp is now accepting bitcoins as a subscription payment method beginning in the third quarter.
The company said in a press release that the decision will make it the largest company to recognize payments using the digital currency. Dish’s financial third quarter period starts on July 1, reported Wall Street Journal.
“We always want to deliver choice and convenience for our customers and that includes the method they use to pay their bills,” said Dish’s head of operations Bernie Han. “Bitcoin is becoming a preferred way for some people to transact, and we want to accommodate those individuals.”
The company revealed that payments will be processed by Coinbase, a bitcoin merchant that converts bitcoins into U.S. dollars. Only clients who wish to pay through its mydish.com platform will be allowed to use bitcoins. The customers can still use their debit and credit card and bank accounts to make the payments.
The move by Dish, which is associated with Charlie Ergen, is part of its attempt to gain relevance in a market that has witnessed major upheavals recently. Its main rival DirecTV entered into a deal with AT & T to merge their operations, effectively limiting its options which included a buyout by AT & T or a merger with its competitor DirecTV.
Dish is recently weathering tumultuous times, with results released this month showing that profits fell 18 percent in the first quarter due to weak consumer growth and rising expenses.
Bitcoin is an online currency that is free from control by any central bank or government. Transaction costs such as costs of sending the currency are negligible as no intermediaries such as banks are involved in handling the currency. It has increasingly grown popular despite various setbacks such as the February collapse of Japanese bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox, which went bankrupt after it claimed hackers stole its bitcoins. To register for a free 2-week subscription to ForexMinute Premium Plan, visit www.forexminute.com/newsletter.
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