BHB Network CEO Giacomo Zucco publicly urged Latvian airline airBaltic to replace BitPay as its Bitcoin payment processor September 5, claiming the company’s product “doesn’t work.”
Zucco to airBaltic: Go Open Source
In a tweet, Zucco — who has become known for his support of open source alternatives to overly-centralized services both within cryptocurrency and beyond — called on airBaltic to look at switching from BitPay to open-source BTCPay and Globee.
“Many users are trying to buy tickets (with) bitcoins and failing. You should get rid of BitPay (doesn’t work),” he wrote. “(BTCPay is an) open and free alternative. If you want fiat conversion, you can try (Globee).”
BitPay’s Troubled Image Persists
The words mark a fresh publicity battle for BitPay, which has fallen out of favor with an increasing number of cryptocurrency figures and businesses in recent months.
After controversy about its fees in March this year, travel agent CheapAir gained considerable support from the community after signaling it would shun BitPay as an alternative to using Coinbase as its payment processor.
Also opting for BTCPay, CheapAir said in a June statement and August interview that BitPay’s setup prevented Bitcoin payments being available to anyone unless they used a specific wallet, something which represented a “giant concern.”
airBaltic began accepting Bitcoin payments in 2014 for flights to and from some destinations, becoming one of the first mainstream brands to do so.
As with CheapAir, the Bitcoin option was not always smooth for users, with plugins from BitPay and Coinbase respectively often malfunctioning due to timeouts or backend difficulties.
As Bitcoinist reported, BTCPay has more recently released dedicated tutorial material for businesses wanting to avoid centralized payment processors, while this week saw the company pledge to boycott exchange platform ShapeShift’s incoming mandatory KYC data collection plans.
As of press time Wednesday, airBaltic had not yet publicly responded to Zucco’s offer.