Dish Network Corp. subscribers will soon be able to pay their bills using bitcoin, the online virtual currency that's drawn scrutiny from regulators.
The satellite-TV company, which has more than 14 million customers, will begin accepting bitcoin payments in the third quarter, according to a statement today. Dish says it's the largest company to accept bitcoin as well as the first pay-TV provider to do so.
Bitcoin was designed in 2008 to move money across the Internet, and has since been adopted by companies such as online retailer Overstock.com Inc. and department store Lord & Taylor to sell their goods. Internet merchants are adding bitcoin services as governments examine how to regulate the virtual currency, which has no central issuing authority and uses a public ledger to log every transaction.
Dish, based in Englewood, Colorado, said it will use Coinbase as the payment processor to exchange bitcoin payments to U.S. dollars at the moment of the transaction.