Dish Network to Accept Bitcoin Payments in Q3

May 29, 2014 12:10 PM EDT | Matt Mercuro

Dish Network said it will accept bitcoin payments from customers starting in their third quarter, according to Reuters.

Bitcoin is a digital currency not backed by any government or central bank. It is purchased and sold on a peer-to-peer network independent of central control.

Users can transfer bitcoins to each other online and store the currency in "digital wallets."

Though bitcoins aren't considered a great alternative to established currencies, they do cut down on the cost of having to move money around.

PricewaterhouseCoopers estimates that credit card companies charge approximately 3 percent in transaction fees and PayPal's commission could reach as high as 4 percent, according to Reuters.

The same transactions using bitcoin companies like Coinbase and BitPay are likely to be free.

Dish said it selected Coinbase as the payment processor for bitcoin transitions, according to the report. Customers will be able to pay their bills online with the bitcoin wallet of their choice.

Coinbase is funded by venture fund Andreessen Horowitz, Union Square Ventures and Y Combinator.

Earlier this year, the company launched its Instant Exchange feature, which will be used by the satellite operator to convert bitcoins to U.S. dollars.

Dish's third quarter begins on July 1.

There is skepticism about the future bitcoin exchange however, with a number of critics pointing out recent setbacks like Mt. Gox's bankruptcy.

Mt. Gox, once the biggest bitcoin exchange, stopped trading in February after its faulty computer system was hacked, costing the company nearly half a billion dollars worth of the virtual coins.

Dish shares closed at $59.19 on the NASDAQ on Wednesday. 

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