Bitcoin Payment Option Removed By Travel Booking Giant Expedia

News | June 28, 2018 By:

Online travel company Expedia has stopped accepting bitcoin payments for airline and hotel bookings.

Headquartered in Bellevue, Washington, Expedia was launched in October 1996 as a division of Microsoft. In 2001, Bill Gates spun off the property to become a public company. In 2014, Expedia became one of the largest online travel companies in the world to accept bitcoin. At the time, Expedia teamed with crypto exchange Coinbase to facilitate bitcoin payments.

In a recent report by Cointelegraph, an Expedia spokesperson said that the travel company dropped bitcoin payments on June 10, but did not provide any explanation why such decision was taken. The only other statement from spokesperson was an apology for “any inconvenience this may cause.”

Expedia customers and bitcoin users took to Reddit to express their opinion on why the travel booking website may lose a large amount of customers due to dropping the bitcoin payment option. Some community members suggested alternatives to Expedia, such as CheapAir travel service, which started accepting bitcoin for airline and hotel bookings in 2013.

“Expedia.com, one of the largest sites to book flights/hotels on used to take bitcoin for years… I went on there to look at flights and noticed they no longer accept it,” said Reddit user Bowiestar. “Customer support said they stopped accepting it June 10th. 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. I wont be using them anymore! The only place left now that is reputable and accepts bitcoin for travel is CheapAir.com.”

According to some Reddit users, Expedia cancelled accepting bitcoin due to Coinbase’s decision to discontinue their Merchant Tool product in favor of Coinbase Commerce, which allows merchants to accept multiple cryptocurrencies into a user-controlled wallet.

In April of this year, CheapAir announced that it was considering switching to BitPay from Coinbase for the same exact reason. One main obstacle, however, is that Bitpay does not support wallets that are not BIP-70 compliant, which lets spenders get signed payment details from receivers.

“Our one giant concern is that Bitpay does not support “non-payment protocol wallets” (wallets that aren’t BIP-70 compliant),” Cheapair CEO Jeff Klee said at the time. “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.”