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Will you book your next hotel room with Bitcoin? Expedia thinks so.

Posting in Technology

Expedia, the online travel site, becomes the latest big name to announce it's accepting Bitcoin, the digital currency, as a form of payment.

Expedia will use Coinbase, a third party Bitcoin payment processor, to process the orders. But the travel site will only allow Bitcoin payments for hotel bookings, for now.

"Expedia, Inc. is in a unique position, as one of the world's leading online travel agencies, to solve travel planning and booking for our customers and partners alike by adopting the latest payment technologies," said Michael Gulmann, Vice President, Expedia Global Product, in a press release. "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."

But more payment options might not be the only reason Expedia is offering Bitcoin payments. As The Verge points out , "It's still early enough that retailers may see a marketing boost by moving to accept the five-year-old currency."

When Overstock.com -- a company with less than half the annual revenue of Expedia -- became the first online retailer to offer Bitcoin payments in January it received Bitcoin payments totaling more than $1 million, in less than three months. That's not a huge number for the online retailer, but of the 4,300 people who used Bitcoin 60 percent were new customers.

And with Dish recently becoming the largest company to accept Bitcoin, the rush could be on to get that marketing boost before Bitcoin becomes a normal option for online payments.

Photo: Flickr/zcopley

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— By on June 11, 2014, 10:14 AM PST

Tyler Falk

Contributing Editor

Tyler Falk is a freelance journalist based in Washington, D.C. Previously, he was with Smart Growth America and Grist. He holds a degree from Goshen College. Follow him on Twitter. Disclosure