According to the prospectus filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for its IPO, Airbnb has shown interest in the adoption of emerging technologies, including tokenization, cryptocurrencies and other applications of blockchain technology.
The official filing states that the home-rental platform is open to considering technologies like distributed ledger, artificial intelligence, augmented reality and cloud technologies for the future. In the past, Airbnb said that the company has no plans to consider bitcoin or any cryptocurrency as a mode of payment.
“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 to spend significant resources maintaining, developing, and enhancing our technologies and platform. However, these efforts may be more costly than expected and may not be successful,” the SEC filing says.
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Airbnb mentioned in the filing that the platform has been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic as the company reported a sharp drop in revenue. The company managed to sell around $17.9 billion in gross bookings this year, a 39% drop compared to the same period in 2019.
“In early 2020, as COVID-19 disrupted travel across the world, Airbnb’s business declined significantly, but within two months, our business model started to rebound even with limited international travel, demonstrating its resilience,” the company said in a statement.
In recent years, many international companies have started accepting cryptocurrencies. The Coronavirus pandemic has escalated the rate of adoption. Finance magnates reported earlier about PayPal and its plan for cryptocurrencies. Although Airbnb has been critical of crypto assets in recent years, the latest filing shows that the property-rental platform may have had a change of heart on cryptocurrencies. Some decentralized projects targeted Airbnb, but none of them has achieved success in recent years. If Airbnb announces the acceptance of cryptocurrencies on its platform, it will create a lot of buzz in the crypto market.