Toronto-based booking agency Booking.ca has announced it is planning to accept bitcoin payments, a move that will allow it to eliminate cash transactions, which it says cost it $1.4 million in 2013.
The company announced the move at a news conference Wednesday, which also saw the launch of a new website.
The move, which the company says will be rolled out by the end of February, comes after the online booking agency announced in March that it would accept bitcoin in its booking process.
The online booking site lets customers book online and receive a refund after their trip.
According to Booking’s website, the company currently processes payments in US dollars, Canadian dollars, and bitcoins, which are currently valued at about $12,000.
However, it said it would be expanding to accept other currencies in the coming weeks.
Booking said that as of March 31, it processed more than $1 million in bitcoin transactions.
Bookings said the decision to accept the digital currency came after months of negotiations with Bitcoin.ca.
“We have been in talks with Bitcoin and its founders and advisors and have been able to come to a consensus that this is the right way forward,” the company said in a statement.
“Our goal is to allow customers to buy, book and pay with their digital currency at Booking, and this allows us to eliminate the need for a credit card and to move faster and easier to the point that we no longer have to rely on credit cards to process payments.”
The company has not disclosed how much it would cost for bitcoin payments.
The decision comes after Booking previously said it was considering the use of Bitcoin.
“The decision to allow Bitcoin is a major milestone for the company and our team,” said Daniel DeCoutere, the co-founder and CEO of Booking and co-owner of the Toronto Maple Leafs hockey team, at a press conference earlier this year.
“This is a bold step forward, as we are a pioneer in the world of online travel.
This will allow us to offer our customers more flexibility with the payment options we offer.”
According to the company, Booking has been using bitcoin to make payments for several years, and said it has a long history of making these payments.
“From the very beginning, we have been committed to being transparent with our customers,” the statement said.
“Since the launch, we’ve had an incredibly positive response from our customers, which has been invaluable.”
Booking CEO Daniel De Coutere says the company is also looking into other ways to accept payments.
(Radio-Canada) “We believe this is an excellent step forward for the future of online booking, and we look forward to expanding our services to other currencies and payment methods in the future,” he said in the statement.
The announcement comes just weeks after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced his government would begin accepting bitcoin payments in 2019.
Trudeau also announced last month that Canada will be the first country to begin accepting Bitcoin payments through an exchange.
The Canadian government is also planning to launch a bitcoin-friendly tax exchange that will facilitate payments for businesses and individuals.
In March, the federal government also announced that it will begin accepting bitcoins as payment.
In January, Trudeau also launched a new program, the Canada Bitcoin Investment Program, which will help businesses and people who want to invest in cryptocurrencies.