On January 2, Brian Chesky, co-founder and CEO of Airbnb, asked his Twitter followers to share their ideas for new services the vacation rental platform could roll out in 2022.
After sifting through roughly 4,000 suggestions, he reported that users were most interested in integrating crypto payments for Airbnb.
This suggestion was followed by clear-pricing displays and a guest loyalty program.
Got 4,000 suggestions. Here are the top 6:
1 – Crypto payments (top suggestion)
2 – Clear pricing displays
3 – Guest loyalty program
4 – Updated cleaning fees
5 – More long-term stays & discounts
6 – Better customer service
Already working on most, will look into others now! https://t.co/rxEM4BXZci
— Brian Chesky (@bchesky) January 5, 2022
According to Chesky, Airbnb is “already working on some” of these new products and “will look into others now.”
Touching further on the possibility of adding support for crypto payments, the Airbnb chief detailed that this suggestion included “a variety of token ideas.”
Chesky added that since 2013 Airbnb had seen as much as $336 billion in payments volume.
Airbnb’s cautious approach to innovation
This is not the first time Chesky has spoken about cryptocurrencies.
In a September 2021 interview with Fox Business, he said that clients have been asking Airbnb to add crypto payments for several years.
At the time, Chesky also reminded that before founding Coinbase, the largest crypto exchange in the U.S., its CEO Brian Armstrong worked for Airbnb, adding that “we are really proud of their [Coinbase’s] success.”
Airbnb, which went public in December 2020, has also mentioned cryptocurrencies and the underlying blockchain technology in its IPO prospectus.
“Our future success will also depend on our ability to adapt to emerging technologies such as tokenization, cryptocurrencies, new authentication technologies, such as biometrics, distributed ledger and blockchain technologies, artificial intelligence, virtual and augmented reality, and cloud technologies,” read the document.
However, the firm conceded that “these efforts may be more costly than expected and may not be successful.”
On top of that, Airbnb pointed to possible vulnerabilities and failures that can occur when implementing significant technical innovations, all resulting “in lost business, harm to our brand or reputation, consumer complaints, and other adverse consequences.”
Should the San Francisco-based firm eventually add support for crypto payments, it would only be the latest in high-profile companies to embrace the emerging industry.
These include movie theater chain AMC, payments giant Paypal, and payments processor Block (formerly known as Square).