Bitcoin Comes to Facebook, Apple, and Dish Network
As government agencies have started assessing ways to regulate Bitcoin, big companies nationwide have begun to warm up to the decentralized, cryptographic currency.
Facebook can now be used to send or receive Bitcoin payments with friends through QuickCoin, which launched on May 21. All a user has to do is log in through the social media site, find a friend, click send, and the specified amount is automatically transferred. One disadvantage that advocates of Bitcoin have had to grapple with in bringing the currency mainstream is the relatively long wait time that it normally takes for the block chain—the public ledger for transactions—to confirm a transfer of Bitcoins. Quickcoin was developed in a way that allows for transfers to be instantaneous regardless of time or day, though.
Apple has angered many Bitcoin enthusiasts over the past several months by inexplicably pulling popular Bitcoin wallets such as Coinbase and Blockchain from their app store. Some users were so enraged that they resorted to obliterating their iPhones. Apple reconciled with customers at the Worldwide Developer's Conference earlier this week. They unveiled their new App Store Review Guidelines with an added section on digital currencies that will open the door for Bitcoin applications to be developed and used on iPhones. Section 11.17 explains, "Apps may facilitate transmission of approved virtual currencies provided that they do so in compliance with all state and federal laws for the territories in which the app functions."
Dish Network announced last Thursday that it would begin accepting Bitcoin as payment for their pay-TV subscription service in the third quarter of 2014, making it the largest company in the world to start using Bitcoin. It will be using Coinbase as its payment processor. Fred Ehrsam, co-founder of Coinbase, said, "We're excited to support DISH and their current and new subscribers for their bitcoin transactions. This is a large step forward in the growing momentum of customers paying companies in bitcoin for things we do every day, like watching premium TV."