Expedia Accepts Bitcoins For Hotel Bookings
Travel website Expedia has become the latest company to accept bitcoin transactions as a form of payment for hotel bookings.
When Expedia's US customers come to pay to reserve their hotel, bitcoins will be offered as a payment method alongside Visa, MasterCard, American Express, JCB, Diners Club and Paypal.
To begin with, the company will only accept the virtual currency for hotel bookings, and will restrict the trial to its US site.
Expedia boss Michael Gulmann said: "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."
Other big businesses such as Virgin Galactic now accept bitcoin, as do a range of UK companies from Theatre Tickets Direct to the law firm Sheridans.
But bitcoin remains controversial. It has been plagued by technological problems and security issues, while there are fears that it can be manipulated by money launderers and black marketeers.
Central banks across the world have raised concerns about the currency.
The Bank of England's Deputy Governor Ben Broadbent told MPs on Wednesday that it is "unclear" whether it is a proper currency, while the Reserve Bank of India said in December that its value "seems to be a matter of speculation".
Like the majority of big companies accepting the virtual currency, Expedia will convert its bitcoin deposits back into US dollars every 24 hours.
Expedia is partnering with Coinbase, a platform used by 1.3m consumers and 32,000 merchants to buy and sell bitcoin.