New Zealand ISP lets customers 'buy broadband with Bitcoin'

Slingshot supports payment with crypto-currency

New Zealand ISP Slingshot has announced it will allow customers to pay for its services using Bitcoin. The ISP believes it is the largest NZ company to accept the crypto-currency.

Transactions will be based on the current Bitcoin to New Zealand dollar exchange rate through payment gateway provider Bitpay. The ISP won't directly hold any Bitcoins.

"The popularity of Bitcoin continues to rise," the ISP's general manager, Taryn Hamilton, said in a statement.

The NZ ISP made waves last week after it announced it was enabling its 'Global Mode' service by default for its customers.

The service allows New Zealanders to skirt around geo-blocking, which can otherwise lock people in the country out of some overseas streaming services such as Netflix.

In Australia there's no indication of a rush among ISPs to embrace the crypto-currency. The CEO of Exetel, Richard Purdy, said his ISP has no current plans to support Bitcoin.

"We are watching with interest the uptake of the Bitcoin by other companies around the world, including ISPs, and would need to be 100per cent satisfied on issues of identity security and value stability of Bitcoin as a payment vehicle before seriously considering the idea," the CEO said.

Purdy said the "relatively small consumer demand" meant that he believes many organisations that support the currency only do so as a PR exercise.

There is at least one Australian ISP that supports Bitcoin. Alex Moorhouse, the owner and operator of NBNSP, announced in November that he would accept Bitcoin for payment at the one-man shop.

Moorhouse said that around 3 per cent of his customers pay using the digital currency. He said accepting Bitcoin had won him some plaudits from fans of the currency.

"There has been a lot of praise, and many potential customers said that when NBN is available in their area they will sign up," Moorhouse said.

"As for the workload, there isn't much difference between a typical bank transaction and a Bitcoin transaction to my wallet."

"I found Bitcoin to be better because you receive the transaction instantly," he added.