& cplSiteName &

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        ADD A COMMENT
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. 
Featured Video
From The Founder
Light Reading is spending much of this year digging into the details of how automation technology will impact the comms market, but let's take a moment to also look at how automation is set to overturn the current world order by the middle of the century.
Flash Poll
Upcoming Live Events
November 1, 2017, The Royal Garden Hotel
November 1, 2017, The Montcalm Marble Arch
November 2, 2017, 8 Northumberland Avenue, London, UK
November 2, 2017, 8 Northumberland Avenue – London
November 10, 2017, The Westin Times Square, New York, NY
November 16, 2017, ExCel Centre, London
November 30, 2017, The Westin Times Square
May 14-17, 2018, Austin Convention Center
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
With the mobile ecosystem becoming increasingly vulnerable to security threats, AdaptiveMobile has laid out some of the key considerations for the wireless community.
Hot Topics
Muni Policies Stymie Edge Computing
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 10/17/2017
'Brutal' Automation & the Looming Workforce Cull
Iain Morris, News Editor, 10/18/2017
Worried About Bandwidth for 4K? Here Comes 8K!
Aditya Kishore, Practice Leader, Video Transformation, Telco Transformation, 10/17/2017
What Does Automation Mean to You?
Ray Le Maistre, International Group Editor, 10/17/2017
Animals with Phones
Selfie Game Strong Click Here
Latest Comment
Live Digital Audio

Understanding the full experience of women in technology requires starting at the collegiate level (or sooner) and studying the technologies women are involved with, company cultures they're part of and personal experiences of individuals.

During this WiC radio show, we will talk with Nicole Engelbert, the director of Research & Analysis for Ovum Technology and a 23-year telecom industry veteran, about her experiences and perspectives on women in tech. Engelbert covers infrastructure, applications and industries for Ovum, but she is also involved in the research firm's higher education team and has helped colleges and universities globally leverage technology as a strategy for improving recruitment, retention and graduation performance.

She will share her unique insight into the collegiate level, where women pursuing engineering and STEM-related degrees is dwindling. Engelbert will also reveal new, original Ovum research on the topics of artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, security and augmented reality, as well as discuss what each of those technologies might mean for women in our field. As always, we'll also leave plenty of time to answer all your questions live on the air and chat board.

Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Partner Perspectives - content from our sponsors
The Mobile Broadband Road Ahead
By Kevin Taylor, for Huawei
All Partner Perspectives