Airbnb may be the biggest home-sharing game in town, but a new startup is trying to push its way into the market.
Enter CryptoBnB: the online home-sharing platform that wants you to pay for your couch-surfing stays using digital currency.
The CryptoBnB team says the advantages of cryptocurrency go beyond having a slick, high-tech way to pay for your room. The startup will use blockchain — the technology behind bitcoin and other digital currencies — to power its home-sharing platform. Blockchain is a decentralized digital ledger that facilitates secure online transactions between different computers, creating a record that can’t be altered retroactively.
Airbnb charges guests a service fee of 5 percent to 15 percent of the cost of a reservation, and charges hosts another 3 percent. CryptoBnB, by contrast, will charge a total of 2 percent or 3 percent at most, Alwahedi said.
CryptoBnB is preparing to launch its ICO (initial coin offering) this month — a campaign that has become a popular way for blockchain companies to raise funds. CryptoBnB will sell 1 billion digital tokens, called CBnB tokens, which buyers can then use to rent rooms on the CryptoBnB platform, or can sell on digital token exchanges. After the ICO is complete, the startup hopes to launch its home-sharing platform within the next year — and may launch in San Francisco as its first city.
The next step? Alwahedi and his team are targeting the landlords who already rent their homes on Airbnb and other home-sharing sites, and trying to entice them to switch to CryptoBnB.
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