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Avnet To Take Bitcoin Payment In Distribution First

While Avnet does not expect to generate much sales via bitcoin -- likely less than one-percent of all transactions -- the company sees room for growth in the cryptocurrency business space.

Avnet is hunting its piece of the billion dollars spent each year via bitcoin payment service provider BitPay by rolling out the ability for customers to pay for purchases with cryptocurrency.

The Phoenix-based distributor said BitPay, the largest global blockchain payment provider, will give Avnet the ability to accept bitcoin, or bitcoin cash from customers. Sunny Trinh, vice president of demand creation at Avnet told CRN that the rise of cryptocurrency has created a niche market among distributors and those customers want to pay with their preferred coin.

“With cryptocurrency, the whole premise behind it is that there’s a lot of hardware involved, and Avnet is a premier hardware provider,” Sunny Trinh, vice president of demand creation, Avnet told CRN. “So we started dealing with a lot of these companies that are in the cryptocurrency space for various types of products, whether its mining equipment, or hardware wallets, so as we got to know them and work with them more, one of the requests that came up was that would it be possible for someone like Avnet to accept cryptocurrency as payment, since that’s the currency they use in their life?”

Trinh said after some research and working with Avnet internal teams, the company found a way to make it work, through a partnership with Atlanta-based BitPay.

“We found them to be the premier cryptocurrency processing company,” he said. “They’ve processed over a billion dollars of cryptocurrency transactions (last year).”

There are about 250,000 bitcoin transactions per day, Trinh said. He said cryptocurrency as a business is becoming more and more complex because the cost of bitcoin mining is rising, as fewer coins are available. Avnet can help those companies with their suite of engineering solutions, he said.

“It is becoming a whole industry itself,” he said. “The solutions that we have makes it more viable for these companies to essentially stay alive. What we’re seeing is a lot of these company’s are disappearing because of the higher costs, but we’re bringing new solutions, and tying that to the payment makes it more viable for them, and hopefully keeps the industry growing.”

He said while Avnet does not expect to do a “huge volume” of payment via bitcoin -- likely less than one-percent of all transactions, Trinh said -- the company sees room for growth in the cryptocurrency business space, which is why the company is catering to customers working there.

“That’s one area we wanted to dive into a little bit further and put more resources into it,” he said. “As we start talking to them and opening things up, where we would accept payment, they want to do more business with us. They want to be able to take advantage of the capability to do transactions with bitcoin or BitCash and that allows us to grow and also allows them to grow so it’s a win-win for both sides.”

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