LOT Airlines and Lawyer.com Now Accepting Bitcoin Payments

It’s exciting times for the Bitcoin payment industry these days, as we are seeing a vast amount of online companies, big and small, starting to accept the cryptocurrency as a mean of paying for their goods and services.

Poland’s state-owned air carrier LOT Airlines announced earlier this week that they will not start to accept Bitcoin payments for plane tickets. While not being the first, as Air Baltic started accepting Bitcoins in 2014, they are still one of the first and one of the biggest to do so.

Customers who wishes to purchase tickets using Bitcoins will be able to do so through the website and through the mobile application. The price will be shown in fiat-currency and then converted into Bitcoins at the rate currently available at the time of the purchase.

LOT Airlines have teamed up with BitPay to be able to accept Bitcoin payments and BitPay will be responsible for converting the fiat-currency price into Bitcoins and also pay LOT Airlines in a fiat-currency for all transactions made with Bitcoins.

“The new payment method is addressed to everybody who has a Bitcoin wallet, and is an active user of this currency when doing the shopping online. Bitcoins can be used to pay for any LOT flight on the majority of the markets where the airline sells tickets.” A statement from LOT Airlines said.

“It’s just a matter of time when payments with the online currency will become as popular as using credit cards today. We notice this potential, which is why we are one of the first airlines in the world to give its passengers the possibility of paying with Bitcoins as early as today.” The statement further read.

“We go for innovations thanks to which [the customers’] journey is even more comfortable and pleasant not only on board, but also much earlier – at the stage of buying the ticket. Many of them do the shopping online, including plane tickets.” Jiri Marek, Sales and Distribution Executive Director for LOT said in a press release.

Lawyer.com also announced this week that they have begun accepting Bitcoin payments for their services. The company basically offers people the chance to find a lawyer online and lawyers pays a monthly subscription fee to be on the website.

The site has been on the market for the past six years and sees the potential in accepting Bitcoin payments. The service costs between $99-$299 a month to be a member of, but lawyers paying with Bitcoins will be subject to a 10% discount.

“Bitcoin transactions reduce our costs, improve transaction speed and provide full billing transparency. In return, we can offer our services at significant savings. We’re not paying transaction fees, there are no bad credits, and we can manage our own bad debts.” Chief Executive Officer at Lawyer, Gerry Gorman said in a press release.

The site have been testing Bitcoin payments for a months time before deciding to integrate it into their payments platform. They have teamed up with Stripe to be able to accept Bitcoin payments and it works in the same way as explained with BitPay, where customers price will be converted to Bitcoins at the current rate.

“We have an emerging group of very tech-savvy lawyers. We think bitcoin could appeal to them in building their practices. Bitcoin is going to be mainstream five years from now. We’d like to be the leader today. We’ve known about and understood bitcoin, we wanted to achieve some sort of critical mass in the marketplace.” Gorman added.

Bitcoin Now Accepted By More Than 100,000 Retailers Across The Globe

The Bitcoin has come far in the past few years, as the first couple of years it was simply an idea of a futuristic currency that some tech-interested people decided to be a part of. By 2011 it started to be used as a currency online at places like Second World, as well as with the first few gambling sites that popped up.

It wasn’t until around the end of 2011 that the talk about the Bitcoin actually becoming a mainstream payment method started popping up. People started to realize that the fast processing, the security and the ability to process extremely small amounts of money for free was a great idea.

By the start of 2012 we saw companies popping up that offered online retailers the possibility to accept Bitcoins without having to code anything themselves and later on we saw companies like Coinify, BitPay, GoCoin and Coinbase offer Bitcoin payments that are turned into fiat-money instantly after the payment.

All of this has led to the stage that we are currently at – Many smaller Bitcoin specialized companies that accepts Bitcoins only and keeps the Bitcoins  and then the others who wants to accept Bitcoins, but wants to turn them into fiat-money instantly. The ladder group primarily uses the Bitcoin as a mean of saving tons of money in payment processing and reach a new audience.

The great thing is that we are currently seeing a massive increase in smaller and larger companies starting to accept Bitcoins and the world currently have more than 100,000 retailers where you can pay with your Bitcoins, making mainstream adaption very real.

Some of these companies includes Overstock, Microsoft, Dell, Expedia, PayPal, Wikipedia, Twitch and Rakuten, to mention some of the biggest ones. BitPay registered a total of 563,568 Bitcoin payment transactions in 2014, almost tripling the amount from 2013, and they are just one of many Bitcoin payment companies.

The amounts saved in payment processing fees for the companies accepting both fiat-money payments and Bitcoins is estimated at being around $15 million in 2014. $8 million of these was saved through BitPay’s services alone, showing that they are currently market leading in the Bitcoin payment processing field.

While things are currently looking good for the Bitcoin, there is still a long way to go for the Bitcoin. More companies needs to accept the Bitcoin as a payment method, but more importantly they need to create campaigns to attract users to use the much cheaper Bitcoin payment method.

Some companies has from the start of their Bitcoin acceptance created promotions where customers saved money when paying with Bitcoins, which boosted their sales and still saved them money. If companies continue to do these promotions, we should see the Bitcoin becoming more commonly used.

Hopefully we will see the Bitcoin becoming accepted by hundred of thousands of more online shops in the near future, with some of the savings in fees for the companies going back to the consumers in terms of cashback or direct discounts. When this happens, the future looks more than positive for the Bitcoin.