AT&T is now one of the first few companies, and the first U.S. carrier, to accept bitcoin as payment.
AT&T customers can now use the cryptocurrency to pay for their phone bills, the company has officially announced. Customers will be able to settle their accounts using bitcoin thanks to a deal with BitPay. The move makes the carrier one of the first few major businesses to adapt the increasingly popular digital currency.
AT&T joins the growing list of merchants that now accepting cryptocurrency for products and services. For AT&T users who have some bitcoin to spare, simply choose the BitPay option at MyAT&T to cover the bill with cryptocurrency instead of normal money. There's no way to use this payment method in-store, however. It's not clear if AT&T will change that going forward.
"We're always looking for ways to improve and expand our services," said AT&T executive Kevin McDorman. "We have customers who use cryptocurrency, and we are happy we can offer them a way to pay their bills with the method they prefer."
The Next Ones Speculated To Join The Bitcoin Bandwagon
There's speculation suggesting that Amazon will be the next major business to accept bitcoin payments, but no strong evidence has surfaced thus far. Facebook, meanwhile, is rumored to be creating its own cryptocurrency and reportedly plans to offer incentives to people to use its own version of bitcoin.
Will more companies use bitcoin as payment in the future? Well, probably not. Since AT&T uses BitPay to process payments, the company will simply receive dollars as it normally would. BitPay converts bitcoin into dollars by selling it, which creates additional pressure on the price of bitcoin, which at the moment, along with other cryptocurrencies, are volatile. It might take years before a company can truly take direct bitcoin payments.
Also, cryptocurrencies are still fighting for legitimacy in the public eye, not to mention most people aren't even sure what bitcoin is, what it's for, what it does exactly, and how it's different from regular money. Still, accepting bitcoin payments is a welcome progress on the part of AT&T and might contribute to overall efforts to make cryptocurrencies more commonplace.
Thoughts on bitcoin becoming more widespread? As always, if you have anything to share, feel free to sound them off in the comments section below!