In recent years, technological innovations have transformed the television industry. Many existing companies have been very resistant to change. To survive, companies must adapt to the changing technological landscape so they can retain their customers and attract new ones. Recognizing this, the prominent satellite television company DISH has decided to begin accepting Bitcoin payments later this year.
For the majority of its short life, Bitcoin existed on the fringes of society, owned and used only by the technologically-savvy. However, the patriarch of cryptocurrency has slowly crept into the mainstream. Overstock shocked the world when it began accepting Bitcoin payments earlier this year, and the Bitcoin community has rewarded the company by purchasing over $1.6 million of items in Bitcoin–far exceeding CEO Patrick Byrne’s expectations. For several months, Overstock was the largest company to accept Bitcoin. However, a new company will soon claim that crown.
The popular satellite television provider DISH announced it will begin accepting Bitcoin payments by September of this year. DISH, which has consistently been ranked among the top television providers in terms of customer satisfaction, began contemplating the idea of accepting Bitcoin payments after some of their employees began investing in the currency. The company boasts over 14 million subscribers, and it brought in $13.9 billion in revenue during the 2013 fiscal year. Unless another company usurps it before September, DISH will soon be the new Bitcoin king.
DISH does not know how much demand there will be for Bitcoin payments when it launches, but if Overstock’s early success is any indication, many current and new DISH subscribers will soon be making their payments with Bitcoin.
Accepting Bitcoin payments directly can be a hassle for companies, so most use payment processors that allow them to transfer the payment into fiat currency at the point of sale. Like Overstock, DISH will use Coinbase’s API to process their Bitcoin payments. However, unlike Overstock, which converts the majority of their payments to fiat currency but leaves a portion in Bitcoin form, DISH will convert the entirety of their Bitcoin payments directly to fiat.
In the United States, DISH is a household name; indeed, DISH services a large percentage of American households. DISH’s decision to accept Bitcoin will attract mainstream media attention and lend credibility to the currency in the eyes of consumers who have been skeptical of Bitcoin in the past.
As Bitcoin continues to grow and thrive, mainstream companies have begun to realize that cryptocurrency is a viable medium of exchange. There are many benefits to accepting Bitcoin, and there are few risks. As a business owner mentioned in a recent CCN interview, “We are not in business to tell our customers what to do. We’re in business to make it easy for them to buy our products or services.” As long as consumers desire to pay for products in Bitcoin, then increasing numbers of companies will add the option. Despite negative media predictions to the contrary, Bitcoin is here to stay.