The platform for short-term booking of accommodation Airbnb filed a prospectus with the US Securities and Exchange Commission on November 16 for an IPO worth $ 1 billion.
In the document with more than 350 pages, half a page is hidden, which is devoted to the risk of not being able to adapt to technological changes. The document contains a list of key words that savvy investors may want to consider:
“Our future success will also depend on our ability to adapt to new technologies such as tokenization, cryptocurrencies, new authentication technologies such as biometrics, blockchain and distributed ledger technologies, artificial intelligence, virtual and augmented reality, and cloud technologies”.
The next paragraph further explains that the “Ability to integrate new or emerging payment methods” It is a critical component for future success. However, the only methods listed are Alipay, Paytm, and WeChat Pay.
While these systems are clearly important, especially to allow access to non-banks, it begs the question of what Airbnb sees as the role of cryptocurrency in its future business model and how it will attract investors.
As Cointelegraph reported a year ago, It used to be possible to use Bitcoin (BTC) to book accommodation with Airbnb by purchasing $ 25 and $ 100 gift cards in the Fold app. However, Airbnb is no longer one of the cards that are offered for sale on the platform.
Meanwhile, blockchain companies have actively used the technology to revitalize a travel industry that has been hard hit by the coronavirus pandemic.
Applications have been launched to check the health of travelers, clean surfaces at a New York airport, and blockchain technology has been used in some contact tracing applications to protect user privacy. Even US passport applications in California can now be paid for in Bitcoin.
It remains to be seen whether Airbnb’s claims about the importance of cryptocurrency and blockchain adoption turn out to be more than lip service.