Light Reading

Dish Says Yes to Bitcoin

Mari Silbey
5/29/2014
100%
0%

Content isn't the only thing going digital in the pay-TV world.

Dish Network LLC (Nasdaq: DISH) has announced that it will start accepting the digital currency Bitcoin sometime this summer. According to Dish, the move makes it the largest company to accept Bitcoin payments and the first pay-TV provider to do so.

Customers will be able to make one-time payments with Bitcoin on the mydish.com website. The US satellite TV provider plans to use Coinbase's Instant Exchange feature to process the transactions. Coinbase turns digital Bitcoins into US dollars.

Bitcoin works like a digital currency, with transactions encrypted and recorded on a system spread out across a distributed computing network. However, for the moment, the US The Internal Revenue Service has decided to treat Bitcoin not as currency, but rather as property. This means that subscribers who buy a Dish subscription with Bitcoin should be aware that if the rate of exchange with the US dollar gives them a discounted service, they will be on the hook with the government for capital gains.

The IRS may yet change how it classifies Bitcoin. However, the current system adds a layer of complexity to Bitcoin transactions. Dish has made it clear that customers will still be able to pay online through more traditional means, including credit card, debit card, and bank account transfer.

— Mari Silbey, special to Light Reading

(10)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
mhhf1ve
50%
50%
mhhf1ve,
User Rank: Light Sabre
6/4/2014 | 6:52:10 PM
Does Dish say how they'll accept bitcoin payments?
Just wondering if they'll use a 3rd party to handle the bitcoin payment processing, so there's zero risk in accepting bitcoins, and they get to make some headlines still.... 
Ariella
50%
50%
Ariella,
User Rank: Light Sabre
6/3/2014 | 5:59:31 PM
Re: Bitcoin Could Be Funny Money
@kq4ym I really don't beileve there's any danger of that. Accepting bitcoin, for many businesses, including a small store owner in NYC I intereviewed recently, is really just about opening as many options for customer payment as possible. The way most businesses do it, as I said in my previous comment, they never actually hold bitcoins themselves. There are also businesses that offer it to their employees, as in the case of Expensify. It really does make sense when dealing with people around the world who all have to bank their own currency and pay foreign exchange fees (as I've had to do myself for some of my work).  
Kruz
50%
50%
Kruz,
User Rank: Light Sabre
6/3/2014 | 5:58:03 PM
Re: Bitcoin Could Be Funny Money
maybe, but also a change, and youth adopts change easier.
Ariella
50%
50%
Ariella,
User Rank: Light Sabre
6/3/2014 | 5:55:38 PM
Re: Bitcoin Could Be Funny Money
If it operates like a lot of businesses that say they accept bitcoin, it doesn't ever hold the digital currency at all but receives the dollar amount immediately from a clearing agency like coinbase.
Mitch Wagner
50%
50%
Mitch Wagner,
User Rank: Lightning
6/3/2014 | 5:40:49 PM
Re: Bitcoin Could Be Funny Money
Is Bitcoin a youth demographic, or simply geeky?
Kruz
50%
50%
Kruz,
User Rank: Light Sabre
5/30/2014 | 6:56:32 PM
Re: Bitcoin Could Be Funny Money
Great to see Dish trying to appeal to a younger audience. If this goes well, other companies will follow.
Susan Fourtané
50%
50%
Susan Fourtané,
User Rank: Blogger
5/30/2014 | 8:41:34 AM
Re: Bitcoin Could Be Funny Money
I agree, Mitch, it's a very good move. Dish doesn't lose anything and being the first in adopting something new may attract new customers who want to make use of their Bitcoins and are looking for services that accept the cryptocurrency. 

-Susan
kq4ym
50%
50%
kq4ym,
User Rank: Light Sabre
5/30/2014 | 8:35:45 AM
Re: Bitcoin Could Be Funny Money
It does seem a risky deal for Dish, notwithstanding a bit of free initial publicity the association with Bitcoin may just cheapen the Dish brand, especially if it ultimately doesn't work out well for the parties and customers. The IRS captial gains issues certainly muddies the water, although I don't really think the IRS is going to go after Dish customers on capital gain tax issues.
Mitch Wagner
100%
0%
Mitch Wagner,
User Rank: Lightning
5/29/2014 | 2:28:35 PM
Re: Bitcoin Could Be Funny Money
On the contrary, it's a very good move. Dish simply needsto convert Bitcoin to dollars or other another real asset the instant it's received. In other words, Dish just sells the Bitcoin right away. 

Accepting Bitcoin is the 2014 version of building a Second Life presence in 2006-7. It gets the company a nice publicity hit. If it takes off, great; if it flops, it's an inexpensive experient and the company can just shut things down.
Phil_Britt
50%
50%
Phil_Britt,
User Rank: Light Sabre
5/29/2014 | 12:18:16 PM
Bitcoin Could Be Funny Money
This may not be such a good move for Dish. Bitcoin doesn't have enough history behind it to indicate it can be viable long term; nor does it have the underlying backing to make sure it just won't blow up. Even hard or paper currencies can become worthless if mismanaged by the issuer. 
Educational Resources
sponsor supplied content
Educational Resources Archive
Flash Poll
From The Founder
The New IP is actually bigger even than business. Like another hugely important tech that Light Reading is digging into right now, the New IP has the potential to change the world by fundamentally advancing what it is possible for people to achieve with communications.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Shares Its Vision of the Future of Mobile Networks Innovations

2|26|15   |   2:30   |   (0) comments


Mobile broadband is changing our lives. It's reshaping the Internet, industry, and society. It allows us to freely connect with one another anytime, anywhere. At this year's Mobile World Congress, Huawei will share its latest insights and newest ideas and technologies that will shape the future of MBB. They will showcase their end-to-end MBB solutions that will ...
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Accelerate Digitizing, Boost Digital Business

2|26|15   |   6:14   |   (0) comments


A new digital revolution is leading us to a better connected world. Together with millions of digital partners, Huawei will help CSPs to build their digital service ecosystem and aggregate a wide variety of digital services. In this video, we find out how Huawei is going to help CSPs implement digital operations.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
The Secret Recipe to Enabling Hyper-Growth Industries

2|26|15   |   3:38   |   (0) comments


With a number of successful cases on network capability exposure, Huawei is going to share the secret recipe to enabling hyper-growth markets with a step-by-step approach.
LRTV Documentaries
BTE 2015 Is Bigger & Even Better

2|25|15   |   03:13   |   (4) comments


This year's Big Telecom Event (BTE) in Chicago is going to provide more opportunities than ever for networking, getting to grips with key industry challenges and opportunities and, equally as important, having some fun.
LRTV Interviews
Light Reading ICT Leaders Roundtable at MWC 2015

2|12|15   |   1:07   |   (2) comments


On Sunday March 1, 2015, Light Reading will host an ICT Leaders Roundtable in partnership with Huawei. At this half-day event, CIOs, analysts and researchers will discuss key industry trends like virtualization in the cloud with a specific focus on new business models. Located at the luxurious Renaissance Hotel near the Fira Barcelona, space is limited so please ...
LRTV Documentaries
Going Green in 2015

2|12|15   |   02:04   |   (0) comments


Energy efficiency is set to be an incredibly hot topic in the telecom industry this year.
LRTV Custom TV
SDN & NFV: Where Are We Going From Here?

2|11|15   |   11:27   |   (0) comments


Vitesse Semiconductor CTO Martin Nuss gives his perspective on why SDN and NFV should be tightly interconnected and how he sees the industry moving forward.
LRTV Documentaries
Time for Gigabit Europe?

2|9|15   |   01:27   |   (4) comments


Gigabit broadband networks are springing up all around the US and they'll soon become more commonplace in Europe.
LRTV Interviews
Brocade Brings New IP Vision to 2020 Vision Executive Summit

2|3|15   |   4:23   |   (0) comments


In December 2014, Light Reading gathered telecom executives in Reykjavik, Iceland to discuss their vision for high-capacity networks through the end of the decade. The intimate, interactive meeting was set against the backdrop of Iceland's spectacular natural beauty. As one of the event's founding sponsors, Brocade's Kelly Herrell shared his company's strategy at ...
LRTV Interviews
Brocade's Kelly Herrell on the New IP

2|2|15   |   12:36   |   (0) comments


In December 2014, Steve Saunders sat down with Brocade VP of Software Networking Kelly Herrell at Light Reading's 2020 Vision executive summit in Reykjavik, Iceland. They spoke about Brocade's approach to the New IP, the future of the telecom industry, and more.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Dr. Dong Sun Talks About Carriers' Digital Transformation & Huawei’s Telco OS

1|29|15   |   6:28   |   (0) comments


Dr. Dong Sun, Chief Architect of Digital Transformation Solutions at Huawei, discusses how telecom operators can become digital ecosystem enablers and deliver optimal user experiences that are in real-time, on-demand, all-online, DIY and social (ROADS).
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Chief Network Architect Talks about Network Experience & Operators’ Strategies

1|29|15   |   3:39   |   (0) comments


In the digital age, network experience has become the primary productivity especially for telecom operators. In this video, Wenshuan Dang, Huawei’s Chief Network Architect, discusses how carriers can tackle the challenge of infrastructure complexity in order to enhance business agility and improve user experience.
Upcoming Live Events
March 17, 2015, The Cable Center, Denver, CO
April 14, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City, NY
May 12, 2015, Grand Hyatt, Denver, CO
May 13-14, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
June 8, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 10, 2015, Chicago, IL
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Net neutrality, broadband services and the current outlook on data consumption, as presented by the New Jersey Institute of Technology.
Hot Topics
10 Weirdly Useful IoT Devices
Eryn Leavens, Copy Desk Editor, 2/24/2015
Small Cells Enabling Location Services
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 2/25/2015
MWC: Let the Madness Begin
Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-chief, 2/23/2015
FCC Adopts Title II Rules
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, 2/26/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Check out Light Reading's interview with Jay Samit, the newly appointed CEO of publicly traded SeaChange International Inc. With a resume that includes Sony, EMI, and Universal, Samit brings a reputation as an entrepreneur and a disruptor to his new role at the video solutions company. Hear what he had to say about the opportunities in video, as well as the outlook for cable, telco, OTT and mobile service providers.
G'day! And welcome to an entirely new feature on Light Reading -- our weekly "CEO-to-CEO" interview.