Uber Could Be the Next Trend Setter to Expand Bitcoin Acceptance
The world’s largest ride-sharing service may expand its acceptance of Bitcoin, now that its new CEO, who’s sweet on the cryptocurrency, has taken the helm.
Dara Khosrowshahi started work as Uber’s chief executive on Tuesday. He hails from travel site Expedia where he was also CEO. Under his rein there, Bitcoin was accepted as a form of payment.
Now that Khorsrowshashi is leading Uber, many think, and are hoping, that he brings his enthusiasm about Bitcoin to how riders can pay for its services.
Like peanut butter and jelly
The synergies between Uber and Bitcoin make the idea of the largest ride providing service of its time pairing with the biggest thing in finance seem as natural as peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.
For many observers, accepting Bitcoin should be a no brainer. There are several reasons for the optimism. For example, while Uber is based in the U.S., it operates in countries all around the world. Customers who take trips abroad and use their credit cards to complete Uber transactions are subject to all kinds of charges for international usage. There is also the business of customers having to keep up with currency exchange rates.
If Uber began accepting Bitcoin for such payments, it could eliminate this headache for customers. That’s because of the immutable Blockchain that underpins Bitcoin.
A new CEO with very new ideas
Uber’s previous CEO and founder, Travis Kalanick, steered clear of Bitcoin, and seemed adamant about not accepting them. Now that Uber’s board has ousted Kalanick, and replaced him with Khorsrowshashi, many changes are expected.
Fortune points out several attributes about Khosrowshahi’s background that indicate he may be more amendable to allowing for Bitcoin. For example, he has an extensive background in finance, which means he’s acutely aware of the benefits of Bitcoin.
Furthermore, Khosrowshahi warmed to the idea of Bitcoin back in 2014 while at Expedia, which was when the fledgling cryptocurrency was just making its entrance. Khosrowshahi was not put off by the radically higher amount of volatility with Bitcoin’s price back then. So much so enamored by it that he allowed for Expedia to begin accepting it that year.
The thought is now that the strides Bitcoin has made in further infiltrating the mainstream and its lessened volatility will appeal to Khosrowshahi even more now. He’s seen as the ideal, C-Suite official needed to help in the popularization of cryptocurrencies at the ride-sharing industry.
Uber had tested the Bitcoin waters prior to Khosrowshahi’s arrival. By the end of 2015, Uber was accepting Bitcoin through Coinbase’s Shift Card. Holders could pay for their rides via the card, which held bitcoins, just as they would with debit and credit cards.
Perhaps Khosrowshahi will further expand on that. We’ll keep you posted!