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Expedia now accepting Bitcoin for hotel payments

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Online travel booking site Expedia said Wednesday it’s now accepting bitcoin as a payment option for hotel bookings.

The Bellevue, Washington company said it would extend the option to other services if the system proves successful with hotel reservations.

Michael Gulmann, VP of Expedia Global Product, said the online giant was in a unique position “to solve travel planning and booking for our customers and partners alike by adopting the latest payment technologies.”

To get the system up and running, Expedia has partnered with Coinbase, a digital-wallet startup based in San Francisco.

Commenting on Tuesday’s news in a release, Coinbase co-founder Fred Ehrsam said, “By accepting Bitcoin as a form of payment, Expedia is giving a wider community of users the opportunity to book hotels from their site’s inventory of properties all around the world quickly and easily.”

The digital currency now sits alongside other payment choices on Expedia’s site, including such major names as Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and PayPal. To make a booking online using the newly accepted currency, a customer has to simply indicate Bitcoin as their preferred method of payment and then complete just a couple of steps to finish the transaction.

The move by such a big online name is a major boost for the cryptocurrency and comes just days after eBay boss John Donahoe told CNBC he believes Bitcoin and other digital currencies will one day play an important role in eBay’s payment platform, PayPal.

Other companies of note that have recently started offering Bitcoin as a payment option include online retailer Overstock and satellite TV company Dish Network. Overstock said it took 840 orders worth $130,000 during its first full day of accepting Bitcoin back in January.

Bitcoin, which emerged in 2009, is now accepted by some 60,000 retailers around the world. While the digital currency has had something of a bumpy ride of late, it continues to attract venture-capital funding as it edges ever closer toward going mainstream.

[via WSJ]

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