Dad, Have You Heard of Bitcoin?

My wife and I were driving our son to school on the way to work and in the middle of the trip he asked, “Dad, have you heard of Bitcoin?” I think he was surprised and maybe even a little impressed that I had. I know for a fact that I was VERY impressed that he had. What ensued for the remaining few minutes of the ride was a discussion of bitcoin and a fumbling attempt by both me and my son to describe to my wife what it was. That’s when I realized I only vaguely understood how it might work. How fortuitous, then, that I found this article in today’s Wall Street Journal about Dish Network accepting Bitcoins for payment:

Bitcoin took another step toward mainstream recognition as satellite-TV provider Dish Network Corp. DISH -1.38% will become the largest company yet known to accept payments in the digital currency.

The move shows the resilience of the currency after a string of scandals and regulatory actions raised doubts about bitcoin’s future. The collapse of a major trading exchange helped lead bitcoin to lose two-thirds of its value in four months, but its price has rallied 27% over the past week. Coindesk’s Bitcoin Price Index was quoted at $565.55 at late afternoon in New York…

Dish said it will use Coinbase, a San Francisco-based bitcoin-payment processor, to process the payments, using that firm’s Instant Exchange feature. That means that although its customers will transfer bitcoins through an online facility, Coinbase will absorb the digital currency and remit dollars to Dish.

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