TL;DR: In one form or another, CheapAir has been around for 30 years. During that time, the business has grown with the digital, online revolution. Founder Jeff Klee was one of the first to accept cryptocurrencies as payment, and few are better able to help enthusiasts, investors, and merchants alike understand the pitfalls and benefits. This episode is available embedded in the article below, and on YouTube, iTunes, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Radio Public, Breaker, PocketCasts, PodBean, and Overcast.
CheapAir Founder: Bitcoin in Commerce
Forget the FOMO and FUD, hype and fear. Jeff Klee is here. He joins the CoinSpice Podcast to discuss the benefits and problems with accepting cryptocurrency in commerce. CheapAir comes highly recommended by our listeners, and they sing the company’s praises for both price points and customer service.
Klee goes way back as an entrepreneur, starting his company in 1989 as something of a side hustle. He saw a need: folks were tired of having to go into a travel agent’s office and wait to be seen. So, Klee began one of the first 800 number travel services. That was half a decade before the internet was born. He and CheapAir have since grown and expanded, and they’ve seen all the trends and fads. Back in 2013, Klee heard about Bitcoin and wanted to accept it — if only as a public relations, marketing ploy. Get their name out there as doing something different, etc.
Klee quickly found crypto to be a very powerful tool for merchants, businesses, and it also fed into a niche consumer base — one unusually computer savvy and very loyal. Nearly $5 million in crypto payments later, and he and CheapAir have become a model for online businesses around the world who might want to dabble in digital money.
It has not been easy. Price fluctuations, dealing with exchanges, and other frictions associated with cryptocurrency payments have made it vital for CheapAir to innovate, to find ways to better serve their customers while still turning a profit. It’s a fascinating look inside at how businesses are still trying to figure out crypto’s best use case, its killer app, as a currency.
00:00 Jeff Klee’s background
02:20 Brick and mortar to 800 number
03:30 Human element of online business
05:30 Customer service as a differentiator
07:20 Decision to accept bitcoin back in 2013
09:10 Bitcoin customers are loyal, profitable, helpful
11:40 Cons of dealing with cryptocurrency as a business
15:05 Biggest disappointment is crypto lacking as a form of payment
17:45 Taking a variety of cryptos and fees
19:45 Which cryptos are most used
20:50 Benefits of taking crypto for businesses
24:45 Does Jeff Klee dabble in crypto personally?
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