Brian Chesky, co-founder and CEO of Airbnb, asked the Airbnb community through social media which applications or platforms its users would like to see launched in 2017. Most of the users responded with Bitcoin payment integration, providing the success of Expedia as an example.
Chesky, a well-respected entrepreneur and innovator, wasn’t aware that travel companies or Airbnb competitors like Expedia accepted Bitcoin and, more importantly, failed to observe the success the platform has had after the integration of the cryptocurrency.
Expedia Inc. operates a wide range of popular hotels and resorts booking platforms apart from its main platform Expedia.com. The company oversees Hotels.com, Trivago and many other international platforms that are utilized by mlns of users worldwide.
Stephen Cole, a Bitcoin enthusiast, noted that the acceptance of Bitcoin will match Airbnb’s mission statement, which revolves around the catch phrase “Belong anywhere.” For users to belong anywhere at any time and place, they should have the ability to make payments without boundaries and inefficient processes.
In response to Cole’s statement, Chesky expressed astonishment over the fact that competitors like Expedia accepted Bitcoin and that a lot of users were using Expedia because of their Bitcoin integration.
@sthenc wow didn't realize this— Brian Chesky (@bchesky) December 26, 2016
More importantly, Chesky was pleasantly surprised by the number of Bitcoin users and other hotel booking platform users that were willing to move back to the Airbnb platform if the company accepted Bitcoin payments.
To that, Chesky also said:
@desantis really?— Brian Chesky (@bchesky) December 26, 2016
While many Bitcoin users have suggested other online platform operators such as Uber to accept Bitcoin, Airbnb’s potential integration of Bitcoin would be more beneficial for its users who are making particularly large payments in comparison to hotel bookings or ride-hailing services.
Some users on Airbnb book houses or rent out spaces for weeks or even months at a time, costing them thousands of dollars per transaction. With credit or debit cards and Paypal, such transactions would be charged with significantly high transaction fees, which Bitcoin can prevent.
Inconvenience becomes a large factor for users as well who are consistently forced to liquidate their assets or obtain cash in order to settle transactions for Airbnb bookings.
In consideration of both the Bitcoin and Airbnb communities’ interest in Bitcoin integration, it is highly likely that Brian Chesky, as well as the Airbnb development team, will investigate and research the benefits of Bitcoin for its users and difficulties - mostly regulatory conflicts - that may arise in the implementation process.