Airbnb could soon accept Bitcoin and Lightnig. Brian Chesky, the CEO of the renown platform, tweeted: “If Airbnb could launch anything in 2022, what would it be?” After 4,000 replies he saw that the overwhelming top request was bitcoin payments.
One user replied that some countries block international payments, so he relied on bitcoin. Chesky replied: “We are looking into this.” Bitcoin is the first truly international currency, and users don’t need permission or “services” from any institution. Businesses are beginning to see the possibilities this opens up.
This is far from the first sign of bitcoin adoption by Airbnb. Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong used to be a product technical manager for Airbnb and the two are still connected. Additionally, their prospectus says
“Our future success will also depend on our ability to adapt to emerging technologies such as tokenization, cryptocurrencies…”
Back in September of last year, Chesky told Fox Business that they get a lot of requests for bitcoin payments and have for years. It seems the pressure is about to pay off. Last November he said “We are definitely looking into it. Absolutely. Like the revolution in travel, there is clearly a revolution happening in crypto.”
Those of us who are into decentralized systems and a world free of corporate megacorporations might not care about the likes of Airbnb. We can see a better world where people can deal directly with each other. But each time another big corporation adopts bitcoin it becomes a little more difficult for governments and their controllers to ban it.
Bitcoin and Lightning are already used in the travel industry
On the other hand, Airbnb disrupted the hotel industry once, could it do so twice. Just as eBay would attain first-mover advantage from bitcoin adoption, Airbnb could write history now.
It may be no coincidence that this reaction to customer demand corresponds with a rise in competition from bitcoin and lightning friendly alternatives like Travala.com, which provides a holiday rental service, flight and expericence all payable with bitcoin and lightning. Travala.com’s vision is to align travel booking with the ethos of decentralised technology. That being, promote accessibility to anyone, anywhere, offer censorship-resistant and peer-to-peer transactions, and build open-source technology controlled by software and governed by users.
As the adoption curve steepens and more and more people are introduced to bitcoin, even the giant corporates will become aware of the advantages of decentralization. The future can only benefit from such an enhanced awareness.