Uber has reportedly chosen Expedia chief Dara Khosrowshahi as its new CEO. Under Khosrowshahi’s lead, Expedia started accepting bitcoin. He is also a personal investor in Bitcoin startup 21 Inc.
Uber Picked Bitcoin-Friendly Chief
Uber Technologies Inc reportedly chose Expedia CEO Dara Khosrowshahi as its new CEO on Sunday, according to two sources with knowledge of the matter. Bloomberg reported:
Uber Technologies Inc. will appoint Expedia Inc.’s Dara Khosrowshahi to run the global ride-hailing leviathan.
Khosrowshahi began serving as the CEO of Expedia in August 2005, helping the company extend its global presence to more than 60 countries. “Under his leadership, Expedia, Inc. has grown to become the largest online travel company in the world,” his business profile shows. The Brown University graduate became the highest paid CEO in the SP 500 in 2015, with compensation totaling $94.6 million, according to a report compiled by Equilar and the Associated Press.
In March 2015, he personally invested an undisclosed amount in the $116 million Series B fundraising round for 21 Inc. In addition, his Linkedin profile shows that he is a member of the professional Bitcoin P2P Digital Currency group.
During Khosrowshahi’s leadership, Expedia started accepting bitcoin on June 11, 2014. However, the option is only available for hotel bookings, which is still the case today. For flights, the only payment options are debit/credit cards and Masterpass currently.
Bitcoin payments for Expedia are processed by Coinbase. Customers paying with bitcoin are directed to Coinbase’s website. Michael Gulmann, Expedia’s vice president of global product, explained at the time that “Coinbase immediately converts all customer bitcoin transactions into U.S. dollars with its instant exchange feature, so we at Expedia never actually collect or hold any bitcoin.”
While Uber does not accept bitcoin, some Uber drivers have independently explored the option.
In July 2016 in Argentina, Uber drivers began accepting payments using Bitcoin wallet and card service Xapo to bypass a political roadblock stopping them from accepting credit cards within the country. News.Bitcoin.com reported at the time how holders of the Xapo debit card could use Uber’s existing card readers, giving Argentinians a way to pay for their Uber rides in addition to cash. The political embargo stopping Uber from using credit cards did not affect Xapo’s debit card since they are topped up using bitcoin, Xapo explained.
Do you think Uber will start accepting bitcoin soon if Dara Khosrowshahi accepts the job? Let us know in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Metronews.ca, Expedia, Uber, The Financial Times
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