For the Airbnb rental platform, its success will depend on its ability to adapt to emerging technologies like cryptocurrencies and blockchain. The firm, about to go public, has so far refused to accept Bitcoin.
The health crisis is painful for the tourism sector and its businesses. Its recovery will therefore require new strategies in particular. For the American giant Airbnb, the return to growth could thus be based in part on cryptocurrency.
The rental booking platform is about to go public with a listing on the Nasdaq. This IPO is expected to enable Airbnb to raise $ 3 billion and reach a market valuation of 30 billion.
Tokenization and cryptocurrencies on Airbnb's radar
These funds are not, however, a guarantee of success. In a document sent to the SEC, the policeman of the stock market, Airbnb believes that its future success depends largely on another skill.
“Future success will depend on our ability to adapt to emerging technologies such as tokenization, cryptocurrencies [and] new authentication technologies,” said the management team.
And these technologies therefore include the distributed ledger and blockchain, but also biometrics, artificial intelligence as well as virtual and augmented reality. How does Airbnb plan to invest in these technologies?
The service remains vague and does not provide a precise roadmap. However, he plans to "continue to spend significant resources to maintain, develop and improve our technologies and our platform."
Bitcoin? No plan for payments… before
But Airbnb also adds that "these efforts may cost more than expected and may not be successful." Will these relate in particular to the support of crypto-currencies, including Bitcoin, for payments?
This is a possible scenario, even if the company previously ruled out any such plans in the area of payment methods. After the takeover in 2016 of the crypto startup ChangeTip, such a prospect seemed already conceivable.
PayPal's debut in cryptocurrency could encourage reconsideration and in turn encourage Airbnb to open up to these assets. Recently, the payments giant has allowed its customers to acquire, store and sell certain tokens, including Bitcoin and Ethereum.