All About BTC, LTC, ETH mining as well as other alternative crypto currencies
Today the Bitcoin exchange rate briefly dropped down to about $150 USD on Bitstamp, though shortly after that it rose back to over $200 USD. This was enough to scare some people to panic sell as usual and has sprouted new theories about the cryto currency failing or dropping down to sub $100 USD and so on. The fact is that lately the Bitcoin exchange rate was actively swinging with big jumps up or down and nobody knows for sure what is going to happen. This could be a result of the recently hacked Bitstamp exchange and almost 19000 BTC stolen that are being dumped on exchanges, or ponzi schemes that have stolen Bitcoins from users dumping them, or a result of big mining ASIC manufacturers (Cointerra) and cloud mining services such as CEX.IO stopping their mining operations. It could as well be none of the above or all of the above, but the majority of people that believe in Bitcoin and crypto currencies are not ready to give up on the idea. A lot of businesses however that are focused on mining for crypto currencies may suffer from the not so good exchange rate lately and we already are seeing very big companies in that area starting to get affected…
The payment processor BitPay has just released an application called Bitcoin Checkout for mobile devices using iOS such as iPhone and iPad as well as for Android-based tablets and smartphones making it quicker and easier for merchants to accept Bitcoin payments. BitPay’s new point-of-sale application Bitcoin Checkout is designed to be really simple and easy to be used to accept Bitcoin payments from customers, so that it can easily be used alongside existing point-of-sale systems. The application works with the familiar 2D barcodes for the payment, but also supports NFC for payments, though support that could be limited depending on what kind of mobile device is used by both the merchant and the customers. This is a clear example of how simple and easy an alternative form of payments such as Bitcoin can be integrated by merchants without the need of specialized hardware as a payment processor. When you add the very small transaction fees for the merchant for Bitcoin payments as compared to what credit card payment processors charge there is no reason not to add Bitcoin payments as an option for attracting new customers. For merchants accepting Bitcoin payments there is also no risk from the Bitcoin price changing significantly as pretty much all of them are immediately exchanging the Bitcoins they receive as payment into USD, EUR etc.
Expedia, one of the largest online international travel agents, has announced that they are stating to accept Bitcoin as a form of payment for hotel purchases. Expedia has partnered with Coinbase as the payment processor, just like another big company that recently announce their plans for starting to accept Bitcoin payments, namely Dish Network.
“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. “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.”
Expedia’s customers can easily find and select Bitcoin as a payment option at check-out along with all other methods accepted on the site, including Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, JCB, Diners Club and PayPal. To purchase hotel reservations using the newly accepted currency, customers simply indicate Bitcoin as their method of payment and then follow a few steps to safely and securely complete each transaction. Expedia will not collect or hold any Bitcoin from the payments they get, it will immediately convert all customer Bitcoin transactions into U.S. dollars as pretty much most other companies accepting Bitcoin as a means of payment do in order to minimize the risk of BTC price dropping.
On a side note, Google Finance has just launched a Bitcoin price tracker, not long after Yahoo! Finance has added a price ticker for BTC as well. This is a direct response to both the companies and their users gaining more interest in the crypto currency as it continues to get wider adoption.