DISH to Accept Bitcoins
DISH Becomes the First Big Name to Accept Bitcoin
A leading satellite television provider in the U.S., DISH Network will soon be accepting Bitcoin. Making the announcement on Tuesday, the company’s executive vice president, Bernie Han, who also doubles as the chief operating officer has said.
“We always want to deliver choice and convenience for our customers and that includes the method they use to pay their bills,” said Han.
DISH now becomes the first renowned companies to accept Bitcoin. This serves as a major milestone for the bitcoin community that has been seeking mainstream acceptance for the digital currency.
Conflicting Regulators and Sceptic Industry Players
Bitcoin, the leading virtual currency by market capitalization, has been on the receiving end since the collapse of Mt. Gox, the once leading Bitcoin exchange. The failure of the Hong-Kong based bitcoin exchange has been the point of reference for regulators and those against cryptocurrencies. Its fall robbed its users hundreds of millions of dollars worth of bitcoin.
Bitcoin has enjoyed great support, if not unanimous, in the Silicon Valley, but authorities have treated it with contempt. There have been major setbacks for the virtual currency, which seeks to serve as an alternative to conventional currencies.
There has also been disagreeing information coming from government agencies. On March 25, the IRS declared that it would be treating bitcoin as property, while Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) had a year earlier opted to treat it as a foreign currency.
The fact the bitcoin lacks regulation and it allows a degree of anonymity has drawn much criticism and sceptic remarks from authorities. They have also connected the currency to online crime.
Financial industry giants have launched scratchy excoriation of the virtual currency technology, but venture capitalists from the Silicon Valley have embraced it and have invested millions in its start-ups. A few days ago, the Winlevoss twins, Cameron and Tyler, revealed their plan to create a public traded bitcoin ETF. This is going to help bitcoin gain mainstream acceptance.
Bitcoin has been around now for about six years, but it became popular last year after a Treasury Department granted it legitimacy. The currency’s value skyrocketed to trade over $1300. However, the events that have been happening in its ecosystem made the currency to experience a freefall. While it had dropped to as little as $350, it has since gained a little stability and has been trading above $450.
A Big Boost
The decision by DISH Network to accept bitcoins is going to set precedence to other major service providers. Though the currency has already had a number of companies accepting it as a mode of payment, many big name companies are yet to chip in. DISH now joins Overstock.com, which started accepting bitcoin earlier this year.
According to DISH, accepting bitcoin will enable it accommodate the virtual currency users.
Bernie Han said, “Bitcoin is becoming a preferred way for some people to transact and we want to accommodate those individuals.”
The number of companies and small merchants accepting bitcoin has been on the rise, the big players have stayed back. But bitcoin infrastructure taking shape, the entry of DISH is likely to change the playing field as bitcoin close in on mainstream acceptance.