A poll on the Twitter page of Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky revealed that crypto payments were one of the most-requested features on the platform.
Airbnb to enable crypto payments soon?
Crypto payments have been on the march in recent months and may soon add another big scalp to their tally. Brian Chesky, CEO of Airbnb, tweeted a poll asking his followers to vote for their favourite suggestions that Airbnb should implement in 2022. According to his own count, from his 400,000 followers, he received 4,000 suggestions.
The top suggestion was payment with crypto, followed by clear pricing displays and a guest loyalty programme. Other wishes included updated cleaning fees, more long-term stays and discounts, and better customer service.
Chesky responded that Airbnb was already working on most and would look into the others as well, which may hint that crypto payments are either in the works or at least being considered by the platform. He also noted that several tokens were suggested, an indicator that Airbnb may well accept several cryptocurrencies in addition to its current payment methods that include credit cards (Visa and Mastercard) and popular payment processors (Google Pay, Apple Pay, PayPal).
Crypto payments are not a new request either, as Chesky referred to them already back in September when he declined to give an update on Airbnb’s position on accepting crypto in an interview with Fox Business. However, Chesky was bullish when asked about the future of crypto and the metaverse in a conversation with Nilay Patel of The Verge. He said that Airbnb was “definitely looking into it” and that crypto was a revolution similar to the revolution in travel that Airbnb advanced. Chesky also noted that both “have interesting relationships with trust.”
Crypto payments are becoming more widespread
Airbnb’s interest in crypto is hardly a surprise, considering that the current CEO of Coinbase Brian Armstrong is a former employee. Moreover, decentralised alternatives like Travala.com have been encroaching on the incumbent’s territory, forcing its hand.
But payment in crypto is a trend that has taken hold in several industries. For instance, Apple is reportedly considering supporting crypto via its Apple Pay payment solution. Sports stars are starting to accept crypto: Perth Heat’s roster will switch to the “Bitcoin standard,” both players and staff. Then there is the public sector: particularly young Australians are increasingly willing to pay bills in crypto. In Brazil, workers may soon receive crypto payments too. With studies showing growing demand for payments in crypto, adoption by companies like Airbnb seems like a matter of when not if.
If that were to happen, it would not necessarily imply a price surge to go with it. In fact, some of this adoption may already be priced in, considering that Bitcoin’s market capitalisation has increased by more than 400% from its 2019 levels. Still, more real-world adoption eventually bodes well for crypto prices, as cryptocurrencies become an integral part of the real-world economy and become normalised beyond tech-affine circles.