Nowadays, many companies are entering the world of cryptocurrencies, incorporating them among their payment methods. The travel industry is the sector that has been most open to the use of new technologies and this innovative financial economy, despite the drawbacks, restrictions and controversies that surround it.
Expedia, the largest site to book flights, hotels and car rentals in the world _ with offices in more than 30 countries _ is one of the most visited travel websites in the world, and until a few weeks ago it was one of the most renowned companies that allowed their users to pay with Bitcoins
Unfortunately, the company recently withdrew from the crypto world, without giving any explanation.
Expedia began accepting payments with Bitcoins back in 2014, becoming a pioneer in the travel industry in using this payment method, doing it so in partnership with Coinbase.
Some members of the crypto community believe that Expedia's withdrawal may be related to a measure taken by Coinbase back in April, when the platform suspended its custody solutions, modifying its payments service, which would make payments in Bitcoin more difficult, impacting several merchants that used their system.
This is an unfortunate separation, as many people in the IT industry used Expedia's services because of the option of paying with Bitcoin, meaning the company has lost a large segment of the crypto market.
The payment option was withdrawn silently, without any information about it in the company's social media or their official website. A spokesperson confirmed that the service “no longer accepts digital currency Bitcoin,” starting from June 10, 2018.
There is speculation about the withdrawal, with some people saying tha it's a consequence of the fact that there is no reliable processing partner to accept payments in digital assets; This was stated by Jeff Klee, the CEO of CheapAir, a company similar to Expedia that in 2013 started taking Bitcoin as a payment option for flights.
Therefore, it's important to mention there are other travel agencies that accept digital currencies to purchase flights, such as CheapAir, Destinia, Travelforcoin, BTCtrip and ABitSky.
Let's hope that Expedia makes an official announcement regarding its decision, or better yet, that they reincorporate this payment option for its services.
By Ana María Morales