The largest online travel company in the world, Expedia will begin accepting bitcoin for hotel bookings, becoming the first major travel organization to have payments in digital currency.
“Bitcoin is a great example of how Expedia is investing early in an array of payment options to give our customers and partners more choice in the ways they interact with us,” the company announced its plan.
Expedia said bitcoin will become a part of the payment options for users at check-out, similar to such payment methods as PayPal and Visa.
“Customers simply indicate bitcoin as their method of payment and then follow a few steps to safely and securely complete each transaction,” the company mentioned.
Expedia Inc., which has a current market capital that equals to $9.75 billion, will also take into the account the expansion of its bitcoin policy to different travel sectors. Expedia has a big range of sectors that includes not only hotels bookings, but also reservations for airline and cruise tickets, as well as rental cars and leisure activities. Last quarter Expedia reported a revenue of $1.2 billion.
The company’s participation in the bitcoin economy could have a great impact due to its business size. Expedia reported that it had 146 million room nights booked by customers last year, for example. There are competitors exist in the world of online booking, for example Priceline competes with Expedia.
Expedia said that the company will accept bitcoin in other sectors if the market response to hotel booking for bitcoin is good. The company will be processing bitcoin payments through Coinbase, but won’t hold any of the bitcoin it receives.
The company currently handles bitcoin payments for more than 32,000 businesses globally.
There are other major retailers and service providers in the US who have joined the world of bit coin. The leader of the group is electronics retailer Overstock.com, which had over $1.6 million in bit coin sales for the year in May.
By the end of May, the largest company by market cap to accept bit coin became DISH Network, US satellite service provider.