Expedia joins growing list of businesses accepting Bitcoin payments


June 12, 2014

Expedia site processing bitcoin option

Expedia site processing bitcoin option

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The ever-expanding business uptake of bitcoin continues as more companies realize its increasing popularity amongst tech-savvy consumers. As a result, many progressive companies like Virgin Galactic,, and Atomic Mail have embraced the digital currency as a method of payment. Now has added its name to that list by announcing that it, too, will accept bitcoins for payment of hotel accommodation.

Bitcoin is seeing a steady increase in its exchange in businesses worldwide, not just because it has a public ledger that indicates it is set up as a trustworthy and secure technology, but because consumer uptake is increasing. Not the least of which is because Bitcoin is touted as basically inflation-proof. That is, the gradual restriction of supply – rather than a continued production of money like in "quantitative easing" – is part of the Bitcoin protocol. Total supply is topped at a loosely-defined limit of 21 million, and every four years the creation rate of bitcoins is halved.

To help create a Bitcoin payment system, Expedia partnered with Coinbase, a third-party Bitcoin payment processor, to integrate bitcoin payment support on A Bitcoin consumer wallet and merchant payment processing platform, Coinbase claims 1.3 million consumer wallets and the support of 32,000 merchants. Coinbase’s business model includes securely storing bitcoins in the cloud, accepting bitcoins as payment and receiving funds in US dollars.

"Expedia, Inc. is in a unique position, as one of the world’s leading online travel agencies, to solve travel planning and booking for our customers and partners alike by adopting the latest payment technologies," said Michael Gulmann, Vice President, Expedia Global Product. "We’re continually looking at ways consumers want to pay for their travel; 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."

Expedia customers can find and select Bitcoin as a payment option at check-out along with all other methods accepted on its website, including all the major credit cards, Discover, JCB, Diners Club and PayPal. To purchase hotel reservations using bitcoins, customers indicate this as their method of payment at the appropriate prompt and then follow a few more steps to complete the transaction.

Expedia’s acceptance of Bitcoin for hotel transactions begins this week.

Source: Expedia

About the Author
Colin Jeffrey Colin discovered technology at an early age, pulling apart clocks, radios, and the family TV. Despite his father's remonstrations that he never put anything back together, Colin went on to become an electronics engineer. Later he decided to get a degree in anthropology, and used that to do all manner of interesting things masquerading as work. Even later he took up sculpting, moved to the coast, and never learned to surf. All articles by Colin Jeffrey

Does anyone know of a site that takes bitcoin? I don't . Many say they do but they don't. They take dollars. The proof? Their quotes. They quote in dollars because that's all they accept. When you try to pay in bitcoin they rout to a third party exchange who takes your bitcoin, convert to $, minus their 1% commission, and transfer $ to the merchant. The merchant is NOT accepting bitcoin, a bitcoin exchange is converting your bitcoin to dollars, and paying it to the merchant.

When I see the prices only in bicoin i will know I am using a bitcoin monetary system. Then we can begin to achieve an independent, free market money system. But look out. TPTB will fight it with all they have.

Don Duncan

I have mixed feelings on that issue Don. Obviously BTC isn't a very good currency if it's immediately converted to dollars after every transaction. But It's not incorrect to state that Expedia "takes" Bitcoin in the same way that they take American Express, even though the payment is obviously denominated in dollars in that transaction also.

I just wonder how long until Coinbase is hacked/robbed/proven to be a fraud and how far-reaching the effects will be when legitimate businesses like Expedia are heavily leveraged with them. I stopped following the Bitcoin news when MtGox erupted.

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