Airbnb CEO: ‘Our users want crypto payments in 2022’

Brian Chesky, co-founder and CEO of Airbnb, said cryptocurrency payment support will top the list of the most requested products in 2022.


Brian Chesky asks for Airbnb suggestions

On January 2, Brian Chesky, co-founder and CEO of Airbnb, asked his Twitter followers to share their ideas for new services the platform could roll out in 2022.

More than 4,000 suggestions were given. After reviewing it, he reported that users were most interested in integrating crypto payments for Airbnb.

This suggestion was followed by clear pricing and a guest loyalty program.

According to Chesky, Airbnb is already working on some of these new products. He also said that he is now looking into other options.

He further elaborated on the possibility of adding support for crypto payments. He also indicated that this suggestion encompassed “a variety of symbolic ideas”.

Chesky added that Airbnb had seen a staggering $336 billion in payment volumes since 2013.


Airbnb’s cautious approach to innovation

This is not the first time Chesky has talked about cryptocurrencies.

In an interview with Fox Business in September 2021, he said customers have been asking Airbnb to add crypto payments for several years now.

At the time, Chesky also recalled that Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong previously worked at Airbnb.

Airbnb went public in December 2020. It has also made mention of cryptocurrencies and the underlying blockchain technology in its IPO prospectus. The document states the following:

“Our future success will also depend on our ability to adapt to emerging technologies such as tokenization, cryptocurrencies, new authentication technologies, such as biometrics, distributed ledger and blockchain technologies, artificial intelligence, virtual and augmented reality, and cloud technologies.”


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No guaranteed success

However, the company admitted that “these efforts may be more expensive than expected and may not be successful.

In addition, Airbnb pointed out potential vulnerabilities and failures that could occur when implementing key technical innovations. These could result in “lost business, damage to brand or reputation, consumer complaints and other adverse consequences.”

Should the San Francisco-based company eventually add support for crypto payments, it would only be the latest high-profile companies embracing the emerging industry.

These include movie theater chain AMC, payment giant Paypal and payment processor Block (formerly known as Square).

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