Online travel booking agency CheapAir.com is considering switching to Bitpay following a services change by Coinbase.
In a blog post, Cheapair CEO Jeff Klee said that the travel booking website has been accepting bitcoin as a payment option for flights and hotel bookings since 2013 via its partnership with Coinbase. However, Klee said that Coinbase’s recent notification that they will suspend “custodial” solutions for merchants will make accepting bitcoin more difficult.
“We were recently informed by our processing partner, Coinbase, that they will no longer support “custodial” solutions for merchants, and are removing a number of the tools and features that we rely on to accept bitcoin from CheapAir.com shoppers,” said Klee. “These changes are scheduled to occur in a matter of weeks. Because we have to immediately transfer to them most of what you pay to us, we have no choice but to convert BTC to fiat as payments come in. Coinbase has been providing that service for us, but at the end of the month they are getting out of that business, leaving us scrambling for an alternative.”
While no deal has been finalized, CheapAir appears to favor a relationship with BitPay. One main obstacle, however, is that Bitpay does not support wallets that are not BIP-70 compliant, which lets spenders get signed payment details from receivers.
“Our intention at this point is to use BitPay as a processor,” Klee said. “We have had a great experience with them so far and our integration is largely complete. But our one giant concern is that Bitpay does not support “non-payment protocol wallets” (wallets that aren’t BIP-70 compliant). So if you do not have a compatible wallet, you would have to get one and use it as an intermediate stage for your bitcoin payment.”
In his blog post, Klee asks CheapAir’s crypto customers a number of questions which include, whether they transact with other Bitpay merchants, whether the BIP-70 requirement is a bit reasonable or too onerous, or if the new development may make them transact less with CheapAir.
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