Expedia, the American global travel booking company, will no longer be accepting bitcoin payments. The company reportedly stopped accepting the cryptocurrency as of June 10th, 2018 and apologized for “any inconvenience this may cause.” Expedia had been accepting bitcoin as payment since June, 2014 and had partnered with cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase to help facilitate this payment option.
A number of people in the crypto community think that Expedia stopped accepting bitcoin because Coinbase has stopped using its Merchant Tool service, and has switched over to Coinbase Commerce. This product helps merchants accept many different cryptocurrencies through their own wallets. Expedia presumably thinks that this would make bitcoin payment processing more difficult, instead of more convenient.
Notably, CheapAir, one of Expedia’s main competitors, is still accepting bitcoin as payment, but is now using BitPay’s payment service instead of Coinbase. This is also because the crypto exchange has suspended custodial solutions. While there may be some issues with Bitcoin (BTC) payment processors, CheapAir CEO Jeff Klee told CryptoGlobe in an interview that accepting bitcoin was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.”
However, Klee had previously cited concerns that BitPay did not offer support for bitcoin wallets that were not BIP-70 compliant, which allows users to receive signed payment verification from recipients. The CEO noted:
“Our one giant concern is that Bitpay does not support non-payment protocol wallets (wallets that don’t comply with BIP-70). So if you do not have a compatible wallet, you would have to get one and use it as an intermediate stage for your bitcoin payment.”
Expedia Could Lose Lots Of Customers
After Expedia announced that it would no longer be accepting bitcoin, a number of Reddit users commented that the travel booking website could potentially lose a lot of customers who prefer to pay with the cryptocurrency. Redditor bowiestar mentioned that “a lot of us in the tech industry get a portion of our salary in bitcoin and it was really good to use Expedia for flights.” Now though, the Reddit user said he would not be using the company’s services any more and pointed out that CheapAir, another major American online travel company, “was the only place left now that is reputable and accepts bitcoin for travel.”
A spokesperson from Expedia confirmed that their website would no longer accept Bitcoin (BTC) as payment for hotels or flight tickets. Interestingly, the giant travel booking website did not post any announcements regarding this on its social media pages or on its official website.
The company’s headquarters are located in Bellevue, Washington and it was founded in 1996, as a subsidiary of Microsoft. In 2001, Microsoft founder Bill Gates decided to let the company go public.