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Wikileaks And CheapAir, Air Their Grievances Against Coinbase

It seems like Coinbase has been having a rough few days in the crypto-verse with two organizations having grievances against the largest crypto-currency exchange based in the United States.

First to air their grievances against Coinbase was Wikileaks who announced that Coinbase had blocked its official Wikileaks shop without notice or explanation. The latter sells Wikileaks merchandise such as T-shirts, hoodies, stickers, posters, books, phone cases and other accessories with consumers having the option of paying using Bitcoin. Wikileakshop also sells cryptokitties.

Coinbase claims that the Wikileaks accounts has been engaging in activities that are in violation of the therms of service of the exchange.

Due to these actions by Coinbase, Wikileaks has since called for a global blockade of the exchange. Wikileaks has dubbed Coinbase as being an unfit member of the crypto community. This is a sentiment that has been dominating the Crypto-verse with many American traders complaining that the trading fees on the platform are ridiculously high.

Another organization that has been having issues with Coinbase, is Cheapair.com: a less stressful option to finding cheap airline tickets on the web. Cheapair has been crypto friendly by being the first travel agency world-wide to accept Bitcoin (BTC) as an alternate form of payment for flights. This was done back in 2013 by the organization and everything has been smooth sailing up until now.

However, Coinbase now informed the organization that it will no longer support ‘custodial’ solutions for merchants and are removing a number of the tools and features that Cheapair relies on to accept BTC from shoppers. Cheapair has now asked its costumers to recommend prefered alternatives away from Coinbase.

Perhaps what is happening in the back-end of things, is that Coinbase is trying to avoid repercussions down the line, when the SEC starts recommending on how cryptocurrency exchanges should be regulated. Every organization wants to stay afloat and within the laws of the jurisdiction which they are registered.

An option would be for Coinbase to switch base to a more crypto friendly country such as Lithuania, Estonia or Belarus.

[Photo source, coinbase.com]

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Travel Booking Site CheapAir Is Switching Bitcoin Payment Processors

Online travel booking agency CheapAir.com said Friday that it will switch bitcoin payment processors following a services change by Coinbase.

CheapAir.com – which began accepting bitcoin back in 2013, a first for the global travel industry – explained the move in a blog post that revealed it was eyeing a move to accept bitcoin payments through Bitpay.

“We were recently informed by our processing partner, Coinbase, that they will no longer support ‘custodial’ solutions for merchants, and are removing a number of the tools and features that we rely on to accept bitcoin from CheapAir.com shoppers,” CheapAir wrote. “These changes are scheduled to occur in a matter of weeks.”

According to CheapAir, the process that converts the bitcoin it receives from customers to fiat currencies is key to the platform’s ability to accept the cryptocurrency, since traditional airlines and hotel services only take fiat currencies as payment.

The company also said that, as part of the shift, it’s looking at accepting other cryptocurrencies, naming bitcoin cash, dash and litecoin. CheapAir said in 2014 that it would accept litecoin and dogecoin by way of GoCoin, another cryptocurrency payment processor.

However, while CheapAir said the integration with Bitpay has already completed, it foresees the adoption may not be as smooth as before.

“Our one giant concern is that Bitpay does not support ‘non-payment protocol wallets’ (wallets that aren’t BIP-70 compliant). So if you do not have a compatible wallet, you would have to get one and use it as an intermediate stage for your Bitcoin payment,” the company said in the statement, going on to request that users send feedback on the Bitpay option:

“This is where we’d love your input.”

Airplane image via Shutterstock

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Crypto-Friendly CheapAir Asks Customers For Feedback On Switch Away From Coinbase

The CEO of US-based flight aggregator CheapAir has published an open letter to customers on April 20, asking for opinions on a merchant solution switch to BitPay over crypto wallet and exchange service Coinbase.

CEO Jeff Klee wrote in the letter that CheapAir.com has accepted Bitcoin (BTC) for flight and hotel bookings since 2013. According to the CEO, Coinbase’s recent notification that they will suspend “custodial” solutions for merchants will make accepting BTC more difficult.

In response to the upcoming Coinbase changes, Klee suggests that the company implement a “reliable processing partner” to begin accepting Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Dash, and Litecoin (LTC), in addition to Bitcoin.

Klee brings up BitPay – whose merchant solution currently accepts only Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash – as an alternative to Coinbase in his letter, citing that they have “had a great experience with them so far and our integration is largely complete.” However, Klee adds that since BitPay requires particular protocol-compliant wallets, he doesn’t want to inconvenience customers that have a different type:

“We understand what Bitpay is trying to accomplish. The issues they are trying to address – delayed or incorrect payments – are real and were especially rampant back in December and January when transaction volumes spiked. On the other hand, I am not keen on the idea of asking our customers to, in many cases, do more work or change wallets just to be able to transact with us.”

In his letter, Klee asks CheapAir’s crypto customers for feedback on the issue, suggesting they reach out on Twitter, leave comments below the letter, or email his personally with their suggestions and reactions to a possible BitPay switch.

Litecoin founder Charlie Lee commented on CheapAir’s tweet of the letter, suggesting merchant services company AliantPayment, which accepts Bitcoin, Ethereum (ETH), and Litecoin.

Coinbase’s decision to retire its Coinbase Merchant Tools in favor of Coinbase Commerce also led Reddit to reportedly remove Bitcoin as a payment option for its Reddit Gold premium membership program. May 31, 2018 is the final date for merchants to make the switch to Coinbase Commerce.