If not to the moon, then at least to the TV set. Satellite TV network DISH announced Thursday it will start accepting Bitcoin, becoming the first subscription-TV provider and the largest company in the world (so far) to do so.
DISH has partnered with popular online wallet Coinbase to process payments in Bitcoin, and will start accepting the cryptocurrency from the third quarter, which begins in July.
DISH executive vice president Bernie Han said that convenience was part of the motivation for the company’s decision. “We always want to deliver choice and convenience for our customers and that includes the method they pay their bills,” Han said in a press release announcing the move published Tuesday. Bernie Han also added:
“Bitcoin is becoming a preferred way for some people to transact and we want to accommodate those individuals.”
Customers will still be able to pay in Bitcoin using the wallet of their choice. DISH said it will use Coinbase’s Instant Exchange feature to exchange bitcoins for US dollars at the moment of transaction.
With over 14 million subscribers as of March 2014, DISH is the largest company in the world so far to accept transactions in Bitcoin.
Coinbase, meanwhile, expressed excitement that it had been chosen as the DISH payment processor, saying the move “mark[ed] a large step forward in the growing momentum of customers paying companies in Bitcoin for things we do every day, like watching premium TV.”
Coinbase said in a press release Tuesday:
“We are glad to be working with the DISH team, to serve their current and new subscribers with Coinbase as their easy to use bitcoin transaction platform.”
Coinbase, founded in June 2012 and funded with $31million from Bitcoin investors, boasts over 1.3 million consumer wallets and supports 31,000 merchants.