What could be inferred from Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky’s recent Twitter Q&A with people is that Bitcoin functionality tops the list of requested improvement to Airbnb. It was the number one requested improvement, even topping a loyalty scheme.
The speculations about Airbnb adding Bitcoin to its accepted payment options had sparked after the travel accommodation giant had acquired an unknown number of employees at social tipping startup ChangeTip. These speculations were vehemently denied by the company till Chesky’s recent Twitter exchange with a user who asked if the company accepted bitcoin. Chesky’s answer was a demure “not yet.”
Brian Chesky’s comments were further highlighted by Bitcoin entrepreneur Tuur Demeester, fanning further the speculation about Bitcoin acceptance as the logical next step for Airbnb.
The AirBnB host community is also fired up about the possibility of Bitcoin as an accepted means of payment. An AirBnB host named Guy would love to accept Bitcoin payments as he finds waiting for bank payments annoying because they can take up to 5 days to show up.
Another host called Ilan believes that Bitcoin acceptance “would be another thrust into becoming a leading avant-garde global business.” for AirBnB.
Moving over the AirBnB host community, travelers are rooting for Bitcoin adoption for the simple fact that the global nature of Bitcoin makes it perfect for travelling purposes. Bitcoin facilitates the carrying of large amount of currency without the constant fear of getting mugged.
It also eliminates one of the major hassles of international trips – currency conversion. Bitcoin eliminates the need for dealing with multiple currency conversions and carrying a lot of cash.
Moreover, the high costs incurred as cash withdrawal fee while dealing with a local bank or even the fee charged when using cards in a new country can also be avoided by travelers if they have an option to pay in Bitcoins.
Bitcoin solves many problems that international travellers currently deal with, including security risks associated with the use of plastic money by securely protecting the payment credentials of consumers to avoid fraud risk and the potential to lose bank account access in a foreign country.
Moreover, Bitcoin can also potentially solve the issue of discrimination, plaguing the platform for a while now. As Vinny Lingham pointed out in his tweet, some minorities without the access to traditional banking system can be brought into fold via Bitcoin adoption. Investor Stephen Cole endorsed the idea and even offered to give all his travel business to AirBnB if they start taking bitcoin.
In face of so much support for Bitcoin, it would be a shame for AirBnB to stall any longer.