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Accept Crypto as Currency? What Airbnb Asked Before Answering

By June 28, 2023No Comments

Airbnb treasurer Brian Moore explains, in a video clip, the travel company’s cost-benefit analysis of cryptocurrency.

In January 2022, Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky received 4,000 responses from Twitter followers after asking for suggestions on what the travel company could launch that year. No. 1 on the list: crypto payments. Flash forward a year and a half, and Airbnb does not accept cryptocurrency from customers or use crypto to pay hosts. At least not yet.

  • In a video clip from a forthcoming Strategic Finance Lab podcast interview, Airbnb treasurer Brian Moore explains how the treasury team evaluated the idea by looking at both the need and, therefore, the potential benefit of accepting crypto as well as the requirements for managing it and the risks it would pose. Hit the play button below to hear the factors Airbnb weighed before deciding—for now—not to take the plunge.
  • Airbnb found that the unmet need for crypto was very small. Also, “We have looked at the all-in costs to accept, hold and pay in crypto and those costs still run high relative to the other currencies we manage,” Mr. Moore said in a follow-up conversation. “The volume of derivatives appears to be relatively small compared to volumes in the spot market, so availability to hedge and the cost to do so could be an issue,” he added.
  • But stay tuned. The crypto landscape is changing fast and world-class companies that directly face consumers know that they can’t afford to rule anything out. “We look at all aspects of payments for customer improvement—currencies, payment alternatives for both hosts and guests,” Mr. Moore said. “We will continue to monitor the developments of digital assets and their use for transactional commerce (not just trading) to determine what steps we will follow.”
Justin Jones

Author Justin Jones

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