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July 21, 2014updated 26 Aug 2016 10:06am

Dell to accept Bitcoin for online purchases

Computer maker becomes largest business to accept cryptocurrency payments.

By Vinod

PC manufacturer Dell has become the largest company in the world to accept payments via Bitcoin as it looks to encourage new forms of digital ecommerce.

The news was revealed by company head Michael Dell, who took to Twitter to confirm the move, saying: "Dell is now the world’s largest ecommerce business to accept bitcoin."

In a company blog post, Dell said it was piloting the scheme on its Dell.com site so that customers could "buy digital with digital".

As part of the launch, certain products will receive discounts when purchased via Bitcoin, beginning with a 10% reduction in the price of an Alienware computer.

Bitcoin would initially just be available as a payment option for consumer and small business shoppers in the US, Dell said. If the pilot went well, the operation would then be expanded internationally.

The Bitcoin payment option would start appearing on the site within 14 days, Dell said.

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Dell will be partnering with Bitcoin experts Coinbase to process any transactions made with the cryptocurrency, following in the steps of other major retailers including travel firm Expedia and television provider Dish Network.

Founded in June 2012, Coinbase is an international digital wallet that allows consumers and businesses to securely buy, use, and accept Bitcoin currency.

"We’ve fostered a close partnership with the Dell team and that’s been instrumental in getting the Coinbase integration up and running in such a short timeframe," Coinbase co-founder Fred Ehrsam said.

"We look forward to continuing to support the team as they explore other ways to offer even more functionality when it comes to bitcoin payments."

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