Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky Hints at Crypto Payments in Latest Interview

Divya  |  Sep 24, 2021

In an interview with Fox Business, Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky talked about the demand for crypto payments at his company. While he made no announcements or revelations about the prospect of accepting cryptocurrencies, Chesky mentioned his connection to Coinbase, the largest crypto exchange in the US.

Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky Talks Crypto Payments in Latest Interview

Speaking to Liz Claman of The Claman Countdown, Chesky discussed the direction in which Airbnb is headed and the company’s ability to adapt according to the changing business environment. 

At this point, Claman asked her guest about the possibility of cryptocurrencies being added to the company’s payment options. In response, Chesky answered:

“We get a lot of requests, I’ve been getting it for years, I have nothing to announce on it today.”

Chesky was also asked to share his opinion on the ongoing struggle between the crypto industry and the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The Airbnb co-founder noted that businesses will have to participate in educating the government about the nascent asset class. And while this process will be “messy”, it is vital for the industry’s health. 

Taking note of the pandemic’s impact on the hospitality sector, Chesky pointed out that business travel is going to witness a major slump in the future. He explained that technology has evolved to a point where it can resolve most business needs without physical meetings. Therefore, people are becoming increasingly reliant on video conferencing rather than traveling for in-person exchanges.

Going forward, the Airbnb chief expects leisure travel to grow substantially. He added that one-fifth of his company’s customers are those that prefer to live in properties for more than a month. 

Airbnb’s Coinbase Connection

Although Chesky didn’t divulge any new details on his company’s crypto ambition, he did allude to his connection to Coinbase.

For those not in the know, Coinbase’s CEO Brian Armstrong was Airbnb’s technical product manager at one point.

During Wednesday’s interview, Chesky said that he was impressed with Armstrong’s success and what Coinbase had accomplished so far. 

"Fun fact, the CEO of Coinbase used to work for Airbnb so we are really proud of their success," he stated.

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