Airbnb Hints at Embrace of Blockchain and Cryptocurrency in IPO Filing

December 02, 2020

Following several years of anticipation and speculation, vacation home-sharing company Airbnb recently submitted its documentation for its initial public offering. The IPO, which is scheduled for this month, is expected to raise up to $3 billion. The offering will be led by Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs, and the company’s shares will trade on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the symbol ABNB.

But that’s not all that’s new at Airbnb. In its S-1 filing for an IPO, the company has also expressed an interest in adopting emerging technologies related to tokenization, cryptocurrencies and blockchain.

“Our future success will also depend on our ability to adapt to emerging technologies such as tokenization, cryptocurrencies, new authentication technologies, such as biometrics, distributed ledger and blockchain technologies, artificial intelligence, virtual and augmented reality, and cloud technologies,” according to the company’s prospectus. “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 embrace of these technologies, experts say, will allow Airbnb to add bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies as an option for payment. While the company had maintained it would not get involved with cryptocurrency several years ago, it’s believed that its acquisition of crypto-tipping service ChangeTip back in 2016 has changed its stance. In the prospectus, Airbnb noted that “a critical component to our future success will be our ability to integrate new or emerging payment methods into our platform to offer alternative payment solutions to consumers.”

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Edited by Maurice Nagle



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