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AirBnB ‘Not Yet’ Accepting Bitcoin CEO Says, ‘Surprised’ By Demand


William Suberg | Dec 27, 2016 | 10:00

Airbnb News

AirBnB ‘Not Yet’ Accepting Bitcoin CEO Says, ‘Surprised’ By Demand


William Suberg | Dec 27, 2016 | 10:00


Comments by Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky have renewed speculation the company may soon begin accepting Bitcoin.

AirBnB: BTC Integration ‘Discussed’ with Coinbase

Chesky made several direct references in several Twitter exchanges which appear to demonstrate his interest in Bitcoin merchant acceptance.

The first came during a discussion with a Bitcoin enthusiast on Christmas Day, Chesky saying he “discussed” the idea with Coinbase.

Chesky also said he “didn’t realize” that travel giant Expedia already accepted Bitcoin.

His comments were then picked up and highlighted by Bitcoin entrepreneur Tuur Demeester, with other users speculating Bitcoin acceptance could be a logical next step after Airbnb’s acquisition of ChangeTip earlier this year.

While Airbnb did take on ChangeTip’s staff, it was not a takeover in the full sense, as no assets were bought. At the time, speculation was still rife that the move was designed to be a precursor to a new project, despite the company saying it had no plans to incorporate Bitcoin.

When asked about direct integration with Bitcoin the following day, however, Chesky was coy. Asked by a user whether Airbnb “used Bitcoin,” he responded: “not yet.”

Nonetheless, Chesky added he was “surprised” that Bitcoin functionality was the number one requested improvement to Airbnb, even topping a loyalty scheme.

Vinny Lingham also joined in the debate, advocating Bitcoin’s selling point as a method of reducing discrimination, which has been an issue on the platform.

So did investor Stephen Cole, who even went as far as to say he would “give all his travel business to Airbnb and would in a heartbeat if it all took bitcoin.”

What’s in an Acceptance?

Not just Bitcoin this week, but also Blockchain has been a topic for the travel industry. Global consultants Accenture have focused on the aviation industry as a likely candidate for overhaul, Blockchain catering to everything from check-in to security and aircraft maintenance.


While that move would likely avoid Bitcoin itself, Reddit commentators have meanwhile moved on to speculate that major corporations accepting Bitcoin may not be all that important after all.

In addition, analyst Tone Vays previously noted that merchant acceptance could in fact have a negative impact on prices due to wholesale conversions to fiat.

“Companies like Overstock are trying to relieve some of this pressure by paying their employees in bitcoin and perhaps they will also be able to convince their suppliers to accept the new asset class as payment,” he explained. “But for now the majority of these merchants are quickly converting into local fiat on the open market.”

Will Airbnb integrate Bitcoin? What are the effects of merchant acceptance? Let us know in the comments below!

Images courtesy of shutterstock, twitter

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