Airbnb co-founder and CEO Brian Chesky said that support for cryptocurrency payments is at the top of the list for products/services that have been requested by users of the platform to be implemented in 2022.
The six most requested services are the following:
Chesky said the company that created a movement in the tourism market is already working on most of them and will be looking at others in the near future. As is a given, cryptocurrency payments have had their day.
Looking further into the possibility of adding support for cryptocurrency payments, Airbnb’s head clarified that this proposal included suggestions for payments in different cryptocurrencies.
Chesky added that since 2013 Airbnb had recorded a payment volume of around $336 billion.
This is not the first time Chesky has mentioned cryptocurrencies.
In a September 2021 interview on Fox Business Channel, he said that customers had been asking Airbnb to add cryptocurrency payments for several years.
At the time, Chesky also recalled that before founding Coinbase, the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the US, its CEO Brian Armstrong worked for Airbnb, adding that “we’re really proud of [Coinbase’s] success.”
Airbnb, which went public in December 2020, has also mentioned cryptocurrency payments and the underlying blockchain technology in its IPO prospectus.
“Our future success will also depend on our ability to adapt to emerging technologies such as tokenization, cryptocurrencies, new authentication technologies, biometrics, blockchain technology, artificial intelligence, virtual and augmented reality, and cloud technologies,” the document said.
However, the company clarifies to the investing public that “these efforts may be more costly than expected and may not be successful.”
By all indications, the time has come for Airbnb to add cryptocurrency payments. The big question is whether it will tackle its own cryptocurrency – which is probably less likely compared to cryptocurrency payments.
There are currently thirty cryptocurrencies that have a broader connection to tourism, but most of them have zero liquidity and are almost abandoned by their creators and their communities.
The largest of these is Travala, now owned by the largest cryptocurrency exchange Binance.
The tourism sector has already begun to accept cryptocurrencies, with booking platforms like CheapAir and Travala taking payments in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. The latter has also started partnerships with mainstream travel sites such as Booking.com and Expedia.
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