Dell accepts bitcoin

Computer giant Dell will start accepting the virtual currency bitcoin for its hardware, software and other goods, the company announced on Friday.

The Texas-based firm is teaming up with bitcoin company Coinbase, as the cryptocurrency slowly gains inroads among major corporations. 

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“Bitcoin is a new payment option intended to offer even more flexibility for customers,” Dell said. “Bitcoin payments can be made easily from anywhere in the world, and offer reduced payment processing costs.” 

As a benefit, Dell said that bitcoin gives shoppers “complete control over your bitcoin, so your bitcoin account isn’t tied to any financial institutions, can’t be frozen and carries lower transaction fees than most major credit cards.”

As part of the promotion, the company is offering a 10 percent discount to bitcoin shoppers who buy a new Alienware gaming system with the money.

Bitcoins, which only exist online but can be traded for cash and used to buy goods and services at some stores, have steadily gained traction at a growing number of outlets. In addition to Dell, companies from Overstock to DISH have announced that they will be taking bitcoins from consumers in addition to dollars and other currency.

Despite the quick rise in prevalence over the last year, some critics have feared that the anonymous nature of the money makes it too easy for drug dealers or terrorists to launder money. Arrests of top Bitcoin supporters and the collapse of a major online exchange have put a damper on the currency’s image, though some mainstream Wall Street institutions have begun to express an interest.  

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