Airbnb confirms that it is looking to support cryptocurrencies. The company also offered to provide accommodation for up to 100,000 Ukrainian refugees. According to the European Union, around four million people may try to leave Ukraine due to the Russian invasion.
Airbnb CEO Discusses Cryptocurrencies and Ukraine’s Refugee Crisis
Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky discussed cryptocurrency and his company’s efforts to help Ukrainian refugees in an interview with CNBC on Tuesday. According to its website, Airbnb has around 6 million active listings worldwide, with over 4 million hosts. There are 100,000 cities and towns with active Airbnb listings.
Chesky was asked if Airbnb supports cryptocurrencies, as some people in Ukraine are trying to accept cryptocurrency payments after the Russian invasion. He replied:
Airbnb is. I mean, I personally support the idea of cryptocurrency, of course. I think it's a very interesting technology.
He continued, “I joined Twitter earlier in the year and asked a community on Twitter if Airbnb can release something in 2022, what would it be? The number one answer was [to] add cryptocurrency payments, so I have a team investigating that one.”
Clarifying that Airbnb has nothing to announce about cryptocurrency payments yet, the CEO emphasized:
We are absolutely looking into this and specifically for this crisis.
Noting that any encryption is unlikely to be implemented “that fast,” Chesky said, “So right now, we’re really focused on providing shelter for refugees. I’ve mobilized a team for that.”
Airbnb has been thinking about cryptocurrencies for some time now. In its prospectus filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) last November, the company named blockchain and cryptocurrencies as some of the technologies it is considering.
Airbnb announced on Monday that it is offering free temporary accommodation for up to 100,000 refugees from Ukraine. Since the start of the Russian invasion, more than 600,000 civilians have fled Ukraine, according to the UN. trying to leave Ukraine due to the Russian invasion.
“We have reached out to the governments of Poland, Germany, Hungary and Romania, and even countries west of them to offer assistance,” explained the Airbnb CEO.
“We are communicating with our hosts. We have raised funds and are prepared to host up to 100,000 refugees,” he shared. “Frankly, we can host as many refugees as we host.”