Dell now accepts bitcoin in the United States for online purchases of its products. The move is a win for CoinBase, which today on its blog announced that it was the integration partner for the personal computing company.
Overstock.com and online technology marketplace TigerDirect also accept the cryptocurrency.
The price of bitcoin, long a driver of media and public interest in the stuff, has been quieter lately, leading to less commotion regarding the currency. (In fact, there is strong correlation between media interest and the price of bitcoin.)
To spur interest, Dell will sell its gaming-focused Alienware products for a period of time at a 10 percent discount, provided that users make their purchases in bitcoin.
Bitcoin trade volume has been essentially flat in recent months, which could be a troubling indicator that the currency isn’t seeing widening adoption. However, companies like Dell coming aboard could spur more use of the currency by those who already hold it, and promotions like the computing firm have in mind could, perhaps, bring in new users.
But Dell is merely another player in the larger bitcoin ecosystem, a network that will require far-wider buy in from non-technology facing companies if it wants to grow into the potential that so many have laid out of for it.
I asked Dell if the decision to accept bitcoin was more driven by its own interest or by consumer demand. If I hear back, I’ll update this post. It also isn’t clear if or when Dell will expand bitcoin purchasing to other countries. [Update: Dell responded to TechCrunch and indicated that its decision to accept bitcoin was in fact due to consumer interest.]
For now though, a nice day for bitcoin, and a nice day for Dell, a company that has been somewhat off the grid since it went private late last year.