One of the world’s largest online travel agencies, Expedia, will accept bitcoins as a form of payment for hotel reservations, becoming the first major travel company to accept payments in crypto-currency. A number of smaller online travel sites already accept virtual currencies, including Travel Keys and CheapAir, but Expedia is the first company of its size to adopt bitcoins. “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,” the company said in a press release announcing the move.
To integrate this service into its hotel bookings site, Expedia has partnered with Coinbase, a third-party bitcoin payment processor. That means bitcoins will be integrated into the payment options for customers at check-out, sitting alongside payment methods like PayPal and Visa. The firm won’t hold the currency, but will convert its Bitcoin deposits back into US dollars every 24 hours.
The San Francisco company currently handles transactions for over 32,000 businesses worldwide.