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.