The CEO of US-based flight aggregator CheapAir has published an open letter to customers on April 20, asking for opinions on a merchant solution switch to BitPay over crypto wallet and exchange service Coinbase.
CEO Jeff Klee wrote in the letter that CheapAir.com has accepted Bitcoin (BTC) for flight and hotel bookings since 2013. According to the CEO, Coinbase’s recent notification that they will suspend “custodial” solutions for merchants will make accepting BTC more difficult.
In response to the upcoming Coinbase changes, Klee suggests that the company implement a “reliable processing partner” to begin accepting Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Dash, and Litecoin (LTC), in addition to Bitcoin.
Klee brings up BitPay – whose merchant solution currently accepts only Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash – as an alternative to Coinbase in his letter, citing that they have “had a great experience with them so far and our integration is largely complete.” However, Klee adds that since BitPay requires particular protocol-compliant wallets, he doesn’t want to inconvenience customers that have a different type:
“We understand what Bitpay is trying to accomplish. The issues they are trying to address – delayed or incorrect payments – are real and were especially rampant back in December and January when transaction volumes spiked. On the other hand, I am not keen on the idea of asking our customers to, in many cases, do more work or change wallets just to be able to transact with us.”
In his letter, Klee asks CheapAir’s crypto customers for feedback on the issue, suggesting they reach out on Twitter, leave comments below the letter, or email his personally with their suggestions and reactions to a possible BitPay switch.
Litecoin founder Charlie Lee commented on CheapAir’s tweet of the letter, suggesting merchant services company AliantPayment, which accepts Bitcoin, Ethereum (ETH), and Litecoin.
Coinbase’s decision to retire its Coinbase Merchant Tools in favor of Coinbase Commerce also led Reddit to reportedly remove Bitcoin as a payment option for its Reddit Gold premium membership program. May 31, 2018 is the final date for merchants to make the switch to Coinbase Commerce.
By Molly Jane Zuckerman