Vacation rental giant Airbnb plans to integrate blockchain technology and digital currency into its business, in a move that could see millions of customers around the world interacting with digital currencies for the first time on the platform. .
According to its IPO prospectus filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Airbnb is exploring several applications of blockchain technology. Previously, the company said it did not plan to support cryptocurrency payments.
In the filing, Airbnb said its future success will depend on its ability to embrace new technologies such as blockchain, in order to support and grow its platform.
“Future success will depend… on our ability to adapt to emerging technologies such as tokenization, cryptocurrencies and new authentication technologies. As a result, we intend to continue spending significant resources to maintain, develop and improve our technologies and our platform. However, these efforts may cost more than expected and may not be successful. “
In particular, the dossier addresses the challenges the company faces as a result of travel restrictions brought on by COVID-19, which saw revenues drop 39% from last year.
“In early 2020, as COVID-19 disrupted travel around the world, Airbnb’s activity declined significantly, but within two months our business model began to rebound even with limited international travel, demonstrating its resilience .
Despite its previous rejection of digital currencies, the record shows that Airbnb may be changing its mind, as part of a larger trend towards larger companies embracing digital currency payments in recent months.
Airbnb is one of many global companies to start accepting digital currencies in the wake of the pandemic. Most notably, the online payment company PayPal now allows its users to perform cryptocurrency transactions, allowing all PayPal-supported merchants to receive digital currency payments.
If Airbnb officially integrates digital currency payments, this move should generate significant interest within the Bitcoin community, as well as raise the profile of digital currencies for payment more broadly.
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