Airbnb: When will bitcoin & company be accepted as a means of payment?


Sun, beach, Satoshi: the Airbnb apartment platform does not seem averse to the idea of ​​going on vacation with Bitcoin & Co.

Two friends in a shared apartment in San Francisco, high rent and a conference that takes up all the hotel rooms. It was clear: To earn the rent, Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia offered three people an air mattress and breakfast in their apartment. After Air Bed & Breakfast was founded in 2007, it became Airbnb two years later. Airbnb offers have expanded from individual rooms to entire apartments and houses. Almost a decade later, people had set foot on Airbnb nearly 300 million times.

And then came the pandemic. Brian Chesky, Airbnb co-founder and CEO, said on The Verge’s Decoder podcast, “In late January, we realized that our China business had plummeted 80 percent in just a few weeks.”

The travel industry was hit particularly hard by the corona pandemic – and is still bleeding. However, after the dramatic headlines surrounding the existence of the platform at the beginning of the pandemic, the company was able to pull itself together again.

However, Chesky isn’t just predicting that the globetrotting industry will recover.
But the emergence of entirely new travel habits that could transform the industry from the ground up. “The world is witnessing a revolution in the way we live and work. The pandemic has suddenly freed millions of people from the need to go to the office,” the CEO said in the call to announce Q3 results.

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on vacation with satoshi

Equipped with an internet connection, we can move our office to any location, regardless of national borders. It doesn’t matter whether he is staying in a small wooden hut in the Swiss Alps or in the palace of the royal city of Jaipur, which can be booked via Airbnb. All these changes had to be taken into account within Airbnb and new structures had to be created in order not to get in the way.

The living platform was no longer just a means to the end of booking holidays, but part of the new everyday work. In response to the revolution in the travel, work and housing sectors, the CEO took to Twitter to hear what his followers want for the company “if Airbnb can launch anything in 2022”.

Out of a total of 4,000 responses, the top suggestion was to integrate cryptocurrency payments into the platform. Meanwhile, the Airbnb founder made it clear that cryptocurrencies mean a variety of token ideas. So are there many different cryptocurrencies in the space?

The company is not entirely unfamiliar with the idea. Airbnb gave a glimpse into a possible future even before the IPO. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) IPO filing states that the platform’s future success will depend, among other things, on its ability to “adapt to new technologies such as tokenization, cryptocurrencies, new authentication technologies such as biometrics, accounting, and blockchain.” Technologies , artificial intelligence, virtual and augmented reality and cloud technologies”.

Against this background, it seems unfair to label Airbnb’s crypto integration as a Twitter gimmick. In fact, the company has long focused on decentralized technologies. Chesky also told The Verge that the company is definitely investigating the issue. “Like a revolution in travel, a revolution is happening in the crypto economy,” said the CEO.

Airbnb payment

Airbnb told BTC-ECHO that the company is reviewing “multiple updates” to the service. According to the platform, “Airbnb Payments is a unique benefit to Airbnb that’s fundamental to our guests’ and hosts’ trust in our business and growth, and we’ve processed $336 billion in payments since 2013.” Airbnb has a bespoke, integrated payment system that enables payments between hosts and guests in more than 40 currencies. Airbnb’s compliant payment system and the flexibility it brings make it much easier to develop future updates and new processes. In view of the fact that around 93 percent of Airbnb hosts are currently paid in their local currency, the integration makes sense
Cryptocurrency to be clear.

As a token that can be sent across national borders, crypto payments will make the conversion of different currencies for international bookings obsolete. When asked if the planned “update” would actually involve adding cryptocurrency payments, Airbnb did not divulge any information and declined to comment further on the matter.

Overall, Airbnb is working closely on the topic of cryptocurrencies. What we can really expect from the company can currently only be guessed at. One thing is certain, though: Chesky understands the importance of crypto. However, his interest does not (yet) reach into the Metaverse.

Airbnb in the Metaverse?

There have been reports of people spending thousands of dollars on virtual lots, villas, or luxury yachts on Decentraland, Axie Infinity, or other Metaverse platforms. The travel restrictions that some countries and regions have imposed due to the corona pandemic are certainly contributing to this. Exactly ideal conditions for Airbnb to advance into the metaverse, one might think.

However, the CEO seems to be holding back his enthusiasm. In an interview with Skift founder and CEO Rafat Ali, Chesky explained that the digital revolution is a big risk. “We live in one of the loneliest times in human history,” said the Airbnb boss.

However, if you take physical communities and “atomize” them, meaning you digitize them, they will lose their “nutrition,” Chesky said. It doesn’t sound like VR excitement. The Airbnb boss also has an opinion on Mark Zuckerberg’s approach to the Metaverse. While he believes the internet will certainly become more immersive, he wonders if it can replace real life or just the two-dimensional web.

The core idea of ​​Airbnb goes back to the human community in the physical world. “The idea of ​​human connection and the risk that the world is isolated, lonely and divided – if Airbnb has a reason for it (…) it is the ability to bring people from all cultures of the world closer together in the physical world.” , explained Chesky from Decoders. “It will always be relevant as long as people are relevant in this world.”


The article has been editorially revised and first appeared in the February issue of BTC-ECHO magazine.




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