The CEO of lodging firm Airbnb, Brian Chesky in a recent CNBC interview spoke about cryptocurrency and the steps the firm is taking in dealing with Ukrainian refugees. When asked about his opinion on crypto, the exec responded positively saying that he is looking to support it as he thinks “it’s a really interesting technology.”
Chesky then continued “I went on Twitter at the beginning of the year and I asked the community if Airbnb can launch anything in 2022, what would it be? The number one response was to add crypto payments, so I have a team looking into that.”
Noting that there are no immediate plans with regards to crypto’s implementation “that quickly,” Chesky said: “So right now we’re really focused on is providing housing for refugees. That’s what I’ve mobilized a team to do.”
The CEO however emphasized that it is looking into adding crypto in the wake of Ukraine’s crisis. Besides that, the hospitality company has also offered to provide accommodation for up to 100,000 Ukrainian refugees. According to the European Union estimates, about four million people may be forced to flee Ukraine to escape the Russian invasion.
Airbnb’s CEO discusses the refugee crisis in Ukraine
Since the beginning of the war, more than 600,000 civilians have fled Ukraine, according to the UN. Two days back, Airbnb announced that it is offering free temporary housing for up to 100,000 refugees from Ukraine.
As per its website, the online hospitality company has about 6 million active listings worldwide, with more than 4 million hosts which include nearly 100,000 cities and towns with fully functional Airbnb listings. Chesky further explained that it has reached out to the governments across Poland, Germany, Hungary, Romania, and even countries west of them to offer assistance.
“We’ve been reaching out to our hosts. We’ve secured funding and so we’re prepared to house up to 100,000 refugees,” he shared. “Frankly, we can house as many refugees as we have hosts.”
Airbnb was dabbling with cryptocurrency for quite some time. In its prospectus filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission [SEC] in November last year, the firm named blockchain and cryptocurrencies as some of the technologies it is considering.