Another day, another company accepting bitcoin in an attempt to cash in on the craze. This time it’s Expedia the travel booking site that’s accepting the virtual currency for hotel bookings. They’re working directly with Coinbase to accept and then convert the BTC into dollars as soon as they hit the travel agent’s coffers.
“While they haven’t officially announced anything aside from hotels, Expedia does plan to eventually expand bitcoin payments to its other lines of business including flights, activities, car rentals, etc as well,” wrote an Expedia spokesperson. “The biggest question is really just around when – and the timing all depends on how well it goes with hotels to start.”
Expedia chose to support hotels first because they saw the “most demand” in the space. It was good starting point because Expedia already allowed customers to pay for hotel rooms on the site rather than at the hotel, making it easier for the site to accept bitcoin and then pass the cash on to hotel owners.
Like PayPal before it, these bitcoin announcements are a way of showing that a company is hip and “with it.” Bitcoin fans, on the other hand, see this adoption as proof their coins are gaining traction. However, what’s really happening is that the companies are using bitcoin as a lure for early adopters and folks who might not want to transmit their credit card numbers over the Internet.
The plan is to add flights later if the feature becomes popular. Expedia follows Overstock.com and Dish Network as the third major company to accept bitcoin.