Airbnb Acquires Developer Team Behind Bitcoin Tipping Platform ChangeTip

Airbnb has acquired the team behind ChangeCoin, developers of popular bitcoin tipping platform ChangeTip.

According to Quartz, Airbnb has been very interested in blockchain startups and how the novel technology can augment and improve its existing rental business. While Airbnb has acquired the talent behind ChangeTip, the company has little interest in the tipping platform itself.

Figures from the Airbnb Summer Travel report for 2015, show that the company has served almost 17 million renters around the world. With services companies such as Airbnb - where user reputation is of paramount importance - a transparent and immutable user scoring system can be of great benefit.

Airbnb Co-founder Nathan Blecharczyk explained to CityAM recently how user reputation may start to play an even bigger role in the Airbnb ecosystem in the future, “Within the context of Airbnb, your reputation is everything, and I can see it being even more so in the future, whereby you might need a certain reputation in order to have access to certain types of homes,” he said.

A blockchain-based reputation system can make Airbnb digital identities the standard in the burgeoning global sharing economy, and Blecharczyk knows this.

Blecharczyk told CityAM, when asked about blockchain technology:

“But then the question is whether there’s a way to export that and allow access elsewhere to help other sharing economy models really flourish.”

While the ChangeTip platform experienced tremendous user growth over the past two years after receiving $3.5 million in seed capital in December of 2014, ChangeCoin has been unable to find a sustainable business model. According to a party familiar with the Airbnb acquisition, ChangeCoin has been looking for buyers for its intellectual property for the past few months.

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