Beginning in the third quarter of this year, Dish Network will accept Bitcoin currency for its pay-TV subscription service, the satellite TV service announced today. In doing so, Dish Network says it will become the largest company in the world to accept the popular virtual currency, though it's far from the only one -- you can buy anything from tacos to even Lamborghinis using Bitcoins.
"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."
Dish plans to use Coinbase as the payment processor for Bitcoin transactions for customers who choose to pay their bill online with the bitcoin wallet of their choice. Coinbase's Instant Exchange feature will exchange Bitcoin payments to U.S. dollars during the transaction.
One reason why this might be attractive to Dish Network is that it can sidestep credit card fees. However, there's also some risk involved due to the volatile nature of virtual currencies.