Decentralization is the new buzzword in the database technology and almost all tech companies are exploring how they can jump on to this bandwagon. Blockchain, as the technology is known, came into limelight with the advent of ‘Bitcoin’, one of the most popular cryptocurrency that the world has as of 2018.
What is Blockchain?
A blockchain can be seen as
- an ever growing public database, that is
- distributed and decentralized, is
- always synchronized, and is
- secured using cryptography
All of the above features make blockchain unique and hack proof.
History and Adoption
The first chain of blocks secured using cryptography were defined in 1991 to utilize in Digital Timestamp. Though, the first blockchain was conceptualized by Satoshi Nakomoto in 2008 and post that blockchain technology was used to develop Bitcoin.
If we go with the Diffusion of Innovation Theory, developed by E.M. Rogers in 1962, blockchain is definitely moving beyond early adopters towards early majority phase in the financial domain. A recent example is Germany announced that it will not impose tax on users for using Bitcoin as a mode of payment.
Though, in the areas other than finance, the blockchain technology adoption can still be termed as an “early adopter” phase as organizations explore the possibilities. One such domain is “Travel” where companies have started adopting blockchain to change the way we travel.
Blockchain in Travel
In the world of Travel, some of the areas that are being targeted using blockchain by technology savvy companies are
- Loyalty Programs – Loyyal is a company that is building loyalty program based on blockchain and smart contract technology. It is working on the multi branded reward program where the 2 way flow of rewards will be just a matter of click. With this universal loyalty program, in future we can see we can earn points as soon as we checkin into a hotel and we can spend them instantly at some nearby restaurant to to buy food; or we can earn points as soon as we board a plane and spend the same to buy something inflight. Such things will not only add to customer satisfaction but will also boost the overall travel ecosystem.
- Travel Distribution – Winding Tree is a blockchain-based decentralized open-source travel distribution platform provides the inventory on the public blockchain and API’s that can integrate with any of the POS system. They also have backbone token ‘Lif’ that allows “Fee free” national/international transations on the platform. This type of distribution will help small companies to provide competitive pricing against the big organizations and will provide a benefit to both supplier and consumer.
- Decentralized Ride Sharing – Lazooz is a crypto alternative to Uber and enables ride sharing without any centralized platform. It is based on a crypto alternative to bitcoin that they call ‘Zooz’ that can be earned while driving and spent for future rides. The data is mined in realtime with the number of people driving and using the app in a community area.
- Local Travel Guide – CoolCousin is building a decentralized ecosystem where traveler can directly connect with locals to find information and in turn enabling locals to earn money based on the information that they have. All transactions are secured using Smart Contract and stored via “CUZ” the cryptocurrency defined by the platform and based on “Ethereum”.
Everyone needs a safe, cost effective and comfortable travel. With long waits and fragmented information that travelers are used to, blockchain based solutions are challenging the way information is currently being controlled and distributed by intermediaries. Though it is too early to say how the new solutions will be adopted in the real world, but these definitely looks promising.