With Expedia joining over 60,000 online retailers that accept the virtual currency, travel by bitcoin is set to become a lot easier, and more widespread
Bitcoins aren’t exactly top of the list for most organisations when they’re setting up online payment methods.
But with their popularity soaring, it could be time for travel companies, retailers and those in hospitality to consider their worth – particularly in terms of attracting a new audience.
Expedia raises the bar
Expedia announced that it was joining the ranks of travel companies accepting Bitcoins as payment a couple of weeks ago. It is only accepting the virtual currency (or more accurately, ‘crypto currency’) for hotel bookings at the moment, and it’s only being trialled in the US. But if it’s a success, it’s likely that they’ll roll this out globally across all their other travel services. Which means paying for a whole city mini-break ‘virtually’ could soon become a possibility.
This isn’t new in the travel market – other smaller travel organisations have been accepting Bitcoin for some time now, but when a player the size of Expedia sets out its stall, you can expect others to quickly follow.
It’s already been proven possible
Last year, a newlywed couple from Utah decided to embark on a social experiment to see if they could navigate the world – and purchase every living necessity – for 3 months just using Bitcoin. You can read more about the experiment and see their series of films document their travels and challenges here. http://lifeonbitcoin.com/
Currency still volatile
With growing numbers of people making their fortune from the mining of bitcoins, adopting the currency as a payment method could open up your offer to a new, highly affluent audience.
But before you rush off to enable your website to accept restaurant bookings, or provide theatre, museum or gallery tickets via the crypto currency, consider the risks.
The currency is still highly volatile and has been in the news lately with regards to security breaches. Expedia themselves don’t ‘hold’ the currency, they trade it back into Dollars at the end of each day.
Its value can vary wildly – at its peak back in March, a single Bitcoin was valued at $1,200. Last week it was around $500.
Have you looked into bitcoins as a potential payment method? Would you? We’d love to know what you think.
New to the world of Bitcoin? Read some FAQs here. https://bitcoin.org/en/faq