Phoenix-based electronics giant now accepts cryptocurrency

Global electronics giant Avnet announced it now accepts cryptocurrency for all products and services. It joins a small list of large corporations that accept digital currency.

The Fortune 500 company partnered with BitPay, the world’s largest provider of Bitcoin payment processing services, so customers can make purchases with bitcoin and bitcoin Cash from their smartphones and laptops.

Avnet has already closed several multi-million dollar cryptocurrency transactions within the first month, company officials announced March 19. This includes a project with to develop a new hardware wallet to enable cryptocurrency storage and provide a higher level of security for transactions.

The two American companies say they are building faster, cheaper and more secure transactions.  

“We’re working with BitPay to facilitate secure blockchain payments for all types of customers so they can focus on developing their products, not how to pay for them. Whether it’s bitcoin or bitcoin Cash, we can handle it,” said Sunny Trinh, Avnet’s vice president of demand creation.

Avnet has more than 2 million customers worldwide. With approximately 250,000 Bitcoin transactions being made every day, it was time to provide this convenience to clients, Trinh said.

Bitcoin acceptance can be cheaper than traditional money transfer options, especially for cross-border payments, BitPay Chief Commercial Officer Sonny Singh said.

“Not only is paying with bitcoin easier and faster than with credit cards and bank wires, it is less expensive and acceptance of it is growing,” Singh said.  

When Avnet customers use the BitPay system to pay an invoice, they agree on a conversion rate from digital currency to American dollars, pesos or other currencies. The system then automatically converts it. The rate is valid for 15 minutes. If no action is taken, a new rate is generated.

BitPay should appeal to current and new customers who are already in the cryptocurrency industry, Singh said.

BitPay, one of several cryptocurrency platforms, processed over $1 billion in payments and added new customers including Dish Network, HackerOne and the state of Ohio in 2018, the company said. The BitPay wallet also added integrations with major gift card brands, allowing users to buy gift cards in-app for travel, food and shopping with bitcoin and bitcoin Cash.

While more companies worldwide are accepting cryptocurrency, it continues to struggle to break into the mainstream.

Avnet, which offers end-to-end technology solutions for automotive, communications, energy, wearables, and other industries, is one of a number of large corporations to take on the digital cash.  

Other large businesses that accept bitcoin include:

Microsoft Microsoft accepts bitcoin for use in its online Xbox Store.

Dish Network Dish is the first subscription-based TV provider to adopt Bitcoin.

Overstock The internet retailer accepts bitcoin and other kinds of cryptocurrency.

Newegg Inc. is an online retailer of items including computer hardware and consumer electronics.

Cheap Air Cheap Air accepts bitcoin for flight purchases.

Shopify The e-commerce company is an online selling platform for merchants.

Amazon Amazon does not accept bitcoin but the platform allows people to buy Amazon items at a discount if they pay with bitcoin.

Victoria Harker

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