Airbnb has a new competitor. Emirates-based CryptoBnB is looking to match users with places to stay by using blockchain technology, and it’s launching an initial coin offering in two weeks.
CEO Tariq AlWahedi told Cheddar that while his company’s name is similar to Airbnb’s, he’s not worried about any potential confusions, since the applications are “totally different.”
“We were not trying to imitate Airbnb over here. The idea was that we wanted to build a platform in cryptocurrency that serves bed and breakfast,” he said. “We are building a decentralized network over here to enable trust.”
CryptoBnB is betting on blockchain technology to ensure safety, and to provide information that both hosts and renters can trust, something Airbnb has been accused of lacking. Still, Airbnb has, in the last decade, amassed 4 millions listings worldwide, It operates in over 191 countries, and has hosted more than 260 million guests. CryptoBnb has not launched its services yet.
And while the short-term lodging company has grown exponentially, the hotel industry and local governments have made efforts to crack down on the company, due to concerns that it's saturating the rental market and driving prices up.
In terms of the potential legal woes that come with the industry, AlWahedi says his company is looking at regulations as they change, and that CryptoBnB’s person-to-person system allows users to abide by local laws.
“I think this is the trouble that other platforms that are centralized get into,” he said. “But here, it would be a [platform] where people can showcase what they have.”
For full interview click here.