Of all the Bitcoin adoption news that has emerged over the past couple of months, this is far and away the most exiting to me. Purchasing airfare is something that most people do at least once a year, and with the holidays coming up, something that is at the forefront of many people’s minds.
The big news here is that CheapAir.com is now accepting Bitcoin for online purchases of airfare on its site. When I read the news I thought it was almost too good to be true so I began to create an itinerary until the purchase options came up. Lo and behold, there it was, the “pay with bitcoin” option:
USA Today covered the story, here are some excerpts:
An online travel agency in Los Angeles and a European private university have begun accepting payments in the popular virtual currency known as Bitcoin, a sign that businesses are moving into a new global economic era.
CheapAir.com, an online travel agency based in Los Angeles, began taking the virtual currency Thursday for the purchase of flights, and University of Nicosia in the capital of Cyprus began accepting tuition payments in Bitcoin.
“I’m excited about it,” says CheapAir.com CEO Jeff Klee. “I’m anxious to see how popular it becomes as we get the word out. We expect people to come to us specially because they can use Bitcoin.”
Christos Vlachos, the university’s chief financial officer, called digital currency “an inevitable technical development” that will lead to innovation in online commerce, international payments and global economic development.
Until a few months ago, Klee, a ground-breaking entrepreneur in online travel, knew little about Bitcoin. Then, a customer asked one of the site’s travel advisers whether CheapAir.com would accept Bitcoin as payment.
Klee researched what it would take for his company to accept Bitcoin. He said he liked the concept, but worried about Bitcoin’s volatility.
Klee found a vendor, Coinbase, that could administer the payment system and insulate him from the currency risk.
Notice the CEO’s comment about people coming to his site just because of Bitcoin. This is undoubtedly true, and as I have mentioned before on several occasions, it is a no brainer for a small business to accept bitcoin. It is early enough in the adoption phase that it will still drive tremendous press and buzz for your business and make you look technologically savvy. This is very, very big news.
Full article here.
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