February 12, 2023

Airbnb To Explore Crypto Payments Soon: C.E.O. Hints About The Revolution

A cryptocurrency (or “crypto”) is a form of payment that can circulate without the need for a central monetary authority such as a government or bank. Cryptocurrencies use cryptographic techniques that enable people to buy, sell, or trade them securely. Recently, there has been a massive transformation in currency transition as many payments are exchanging to crypto payments.

Airbnb has been seen on a web page citing its ‘proposed’ move towards crypto payment. In a tweet, the CEO of the popular travel website Airbnb Brian Chesky hinted that they could soon accept cryptocurrencies for payments. According to their web page, the C.E.O. announced that he received 4,000 suggestions, noting that the most popular one is for his company to accept crypto payments.

Other top suggestions noted on Airbnb adoption of the crypto payments were transparent pricing displays, a guest loyalty program, and updated cleaning fees. While specifically confirming that Airbnb is looking into commercial spaces, the CEO acknowledged requests for more long-term stays and discounts, better customer service, and “commercial spaces (kitchens, co-working).

Airbnb Transition to Crypto Payments Modality

Airbnb, the popular accommodation-booking platform, may begin accepting payments in cryptocurrencies this year. Airbnb C.E.O. Brian Chesky posted a list of customer demands on Twitter, where enabling crypto payments emerged as the top suggestion. Chesky noted that his company is already working on most customer advice while promising to look into others in his post. Many consumer brands have opened crypto payments for some goods and services recently. The majority of these pro-crypto brands are in the U.S.

Chesky’s post garnered hundreds of retweets and thousands of likes. People commenting on the post recommended that Airbnb begin accepting Bitcoin, Shiba Inu, and Ethereum. The suggestion is not the first time Chesky has realized that Airbnb customers are awaiting crypto payment options.

During an interview in September 2021, the Chief Executive Officer stated that people have been asking for crypto payments on the platform for years.

Recently, an eatery called Crypto Street Restaurant in U.S. Florida revealed that it accepted payments in all cryptocurrencies. Moreover, U.S. movie hall chain A.M.C. Theatres added support for Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and Bitcoin Cash payments. The brand will also begin accepting booking prices in Shiba Inu tokens.

Is Transitioning to Crypto a Viable Option?

According to the Airbnb website, there are currently more than 5.6 million listings worldwide. Since its launch in 2007, Airbnb has served more than 1 billion customers, and more than 4 million hosts have listed their properties on the platform. The current payment options Airbnb offers in most countries are Visa, Mastercard, Amex, J.C.B., and debit cards used as credit cards. Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Paypal are also accepted. The C.E.O Chesky stated that cryptocurrency is currently not a payment option on Airbnb.

Noting that the founder of Coinbase was an early employee of Airbnb, Chesky, in addition, revealed that they have been following the space now for quite a long time. The critical importance is when regular people understand how the new technology improved their lives, beyond the initial excitement, the C.E.O. stated. He added that I’m excited about specific applications that ordinary people could use to live a better daily life.

The crypto payment move isn’t the first time Chesky’s opened up about Airbnb’s apparent willingness to delve into crypto payments. Two months ago, he stated that the company was looking into it in an interview with The Verge.

“We are looking into it,” he said.

“As the revolution in travel, there is a revolution happening in crypto; Airbnb and crypto both have interesting relationships with trust.”

Airbnb Rivals

While Airbnb is beginning to integrate cryptocurrency as a payment option for renting homes and apartments, Travala, a decentralized home-sharing platform, made that jump during 2021.

Backed by Binance, the largest crypto exchange in the world, the platform is integrated on the Travala.com website and is governed by users holding the travel (TRVL) token. With a global network of 20,000 homes, Travalal said that customers could use cryptocurrency to book 250,000 homes, with the TRVL token listed on exchanges including MEXC Global, By bit, Gate, and KuCoin.

However, despite the positive support towards Airbnb’s transition to crypto payments, most brands around the world are sceptical about allowing crypto payments. Several governments worldwide are mulling over ways to regulate the crypto sector, fearing the misuse of crypto assets in facilitating unlawful activities.

But Reschke says that observation goes far beyond Airbnb users. Travellers, in general, are significantly more likely to own Bitcoin than the general public. According to a recent Pew Research Centre survey, about one in six U.S. adults (16%) say they have invested in, traded, or otherwise used a cryptocurrency. Meanwhile, one in four travellers (25%) who take between one and four trips a year own Bitcoin, per a new Morning Consult study. And notably, frequent travellers — those who travel at least five times a year — are more than twice as likely to own Bitcoin (33%) than the general public.

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