Airbnb just brought on a team of bitcoin experts from a tiny startup

ChangeCoin was best known for letting people tip each other with bitcoin, but now the majority of its team has joined home-rental startup Airbnb.

The $16 billion company “acqui-hired” approximately seven engineers from the bitcoin company who had worked on ChangeTip, a feature that enabled individuals to tip each other with the digital currency via Twitter or Reddit, a source familiar with the acquisition said. Quartz first reported the deal.

However, while Airbnb is reportedly interested in studying the technology behind bitcoin, the acquisition did not include any IP or assets of the company, so tipping via bitcoin won’t become a standard on Airbnb yet.

ChangeCoin founder and noted startup mentor Nick Sullivan could not be reached.

Rumours swirled after its cofounder and CTO Nathan Blecharczyk hinted that the company was interested in ways that people’s online reputations could be shared to build trust in response to a question about the blockchain. Typically, only Airbnb would know if you trashed your last rental, but with blockchain technology, you could potentially be able to share that information so other people, like your landlord, could know if you’re trustworthy or not.

Whether that will be come a priority to a business that’s still embroiled in regulation battles and is rumoured to be launching new trip experiences soon is unlikely. The company has split the ChangeTip engineers onto different teams already, the source said.

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