Travel agency BTCTrip has officially expanded its payment offerings to include litecoin and dogecoin.
The online flight and hotel booking service was one of the first in its industry to serve the bitcoin community, launching in June 2013 as a cryptocurrency-focused alternative to sites such as Expedia and Travelocity.
Speaking to CoinDesk, BTCTrip founder and CEO Martin Fernandez said that he is excited to add the popular altcoins to the company’s payment options because they allow BTCTrip to tap into growing communities in the developing digital currency industry.
In particular, Fernandez cited the high levels of enthusiasm surrounding the dogecoin community as a key motivating factor behind the decision, saying:
“I follow this community and I think they are very fresh. They are trying to do new things, so for us, it was very important to accept dogecoin. […] For me, BTCTrip is a company, but it is also an experiment in cryptocurrency communities.”
BTCTrip will continue to accept bitcoin through its long-time merchant processing partner BitPay, however, it will integrate processing services provided by GoCoin to facilitate its litecoin and dogecoin transactions.
Throughout the interview, Fernandez stressed his desire to appeal to new digital currency users as the impetus for adding litecoin and dogecoin payments, suggesting he sees the altcoins as a smart, long-term business strategy.
Still, he did indicate sales might have been a motivating factor, noting that his company’s bitcoin conversion levels taper off when bitcoin’s price is on the rise.
Litecoin and dogecoin payments could provide some additional support during these times, as evidenced by the strong buying power reported by at least one major merchant serving both communities.
While Fernandez talked most excitedly about the dogecoin community and its recent progress, he lauded litecoin as well, saying:
“Litecoin was, for me, always the second coin in the market.”
David vs Goliath
Fernandez also addressed how the new payment methods will help BTCTrip better compete against other major travel sites serving the bitcoin space such as CheapAir and Expedia. CheapAir now accepts bitcoin for hotels, flights and Amtrak bookings, while Expedia added bitcoin as a payment option for hotel bookings in June.
Although he evoked classic David vs Goliath imagery when referencing these companies, Fernandez said he feels his company’s emphasis on community will help it find success, saying:
“I always repeat the same sentence, we are not accepting bitcoin [and dogecoin], we are accepting bitcoiners and dogecoiners. We are accepting the cryptocurrency community.”
As a sign of its ability to compete against bigger rivals, Fernandez cited BTCTrip’s recent inclusion as part of PhoCusWright’s Travel Innovation Summit to be held this November.
Notably, BTCTrip won a scholarship to attend and speak at the leading global travel industry conference, one that required it to “demonstrate the greatest potential for success”, among other qualifications.
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