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Airbnb to consider integrating blockchain technology

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US: In its recent S-1 filing for an IPO, Airbnb declared an interest in a number of emerging technologies, including tokenisation, cryptocurrencies and blockchain.

Previously, the company had not committed to adding bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies as a form of payment.

The filing read: “Future success will … depend on our ability to adapt to emerging technologies such as tokenisation, cryptocurrencies, and new authentication technologies. As a result, we intend to continue to spend significant resources maintaining, developing, and enhancing our technologies and platform.”

The company previously dipped its toes in cryptocurrency in 2016 when it acquired seven developers from Changecoin, the firm which used to be part of now-defunct bitcoin tipping platform Changetip.

Furthermore, the filing revealed how the company is pondering whether to integrate other technologies such as distributed ledger, artificial intelligence, augmented reality and cloud technologies for the future. AI, in particular, has had ramifications for the short-term rental industry, as companies have used the technology to monitor properties which have broken specific regulations.

Airbnb filed for its public offering last week, after months of anticipation for the company’s debut on the stock market. The process was delayed from March due to the outbreak of Covid-19, but a resurgence in its business over the summer brought the IPO back to the company’s forefront.

Airbnb wrote: “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.”

Transactions technology giant Paypal recently changed its policies on cryptocurrency, accepting Bitcoin and other virtual currency. This means that coins will be able to be traded on the site as well as to retailers who currently work with PayPal.

Meanwhile, blockchain-based travel booking platform Travala announced that it had added more than holiday homes to its “crypto-friendly” booking platform in August, and partnered with VEChain later in the month.

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