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DISH logo

DISH logo

Thanks to a new payment partnership with Coinbase, the DISH network now accepts bitcoin payments. With a reach of over fourteen million subscribers, DISH is one of the most recognized brands in the U.S. The direct-broadcast service provider’s satellite dishes are commonplace, particularly outside of metropolitan areas were cable and high-speed phone infrastructure isn’t profitable for major network providers. DISH is now by far the largest company to directly accept bitcoin.

Until now, bitcoin’s biggest adopter was Overstock.com, an online retailer lagging far behind behemoths like Amazon and Walmart. Last year, Overstock had about $1.3 billion in revenue. By comparison, DISH had just under $14 billion in 2013. In terms of revenue, DISH is comparable to companies like eBay, Viacom, CBS and Starbucks.

It’s unlikely that bitcoin will play much of a role in DISH’s revenue in the near future, and today’s announcement should be seen as something between an experiment and an inexpensive publicity stunt. Even Overstock, one of the first major online retailers to experiment with bitcoin, has only seen around $1.6 million in revenue from virtual currency since launching their payment option earlier this year. That said, the DISH announcement does dramatically expand the available options for bitcoin users, and may well be the first announcement of many in coming months.

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