– I previously explored
a number of entrants
to the travel booking space
that leverage blockchain technologies.
Since then, several other
companies have entered this market
and my analysis suggests
that there are five key areas
where blockchain can
play a role in providing
a competitive advantage
for these companies.
All new entrants are leveraging
smart contracts in some way,
which is a great opportunity
to really streamline
peer to peer transactions,
cut out the middle man, which is the OTA.
This really is a case of a technology
that makes the payments process
so much easier and faster.
In fact, TheSmartTree platform is based
entirely on smart contracts.
Crypto tokens or floating
are becoming commonplace in this space.
Companies such as Travala,
KeyoCoin, and GOeureka
are already using them to reward consumers
for taking actions within their platforms.
The general expectation is that
as the consumer base grows,
the more the mine is
created for the token,
and the higher the price will rise.
This will benefit the consumer,
but will also benefit the business,
because they’re holding large reserves
of their own cryptotokens.
The utility of these cryptotokens
is generally superior to
loyalty points as well.
They’re easily tradable, sharable,
don’t expire, and can span borders,
making them highly attractive
in the travel space.
Right now, whenever you
book via traditional OTA,
they own your data.
What blockchain companies
will allow consumers to do
is maintain ownership of their data,
securely stored in the blockchain wallet.
They can choose to share
with specific brands,
for a reward, of course.
The misuse of data by companies
and the protection of consumer data
has certainly been underscored
by the introduction of the GDPR in Europe.
Once data is stored securely
and used effectively
hyper-personalisation will follow.
Because platforms such
as KeyoCoin and Trippki
are committed to giving hotels
and other travel providers an opportunity
to establish that direct
relationship with the consumer,
these merchants can
now send offers direct.
The consumer can choose what to view,
what offer to take advantage
of, and what data to share,
whilst being incentivised
with a cryptotoken reward.
No middlemen, no hassles, just direct
and highly personalised marketing.
This is what consumers want and it’s what
these blockchain travel
companies can deliver.
The last thing is security.
Payment via cryptocurrency,
which all new platforms accept,
means that consumers would
no longer have to expose
their credit card
information to third parties.
For some context, there
was 30 billion dollars
worth of credit card
fraud worldwide in 2018,
which is a staggering number indeed.
For merchants, cryptocurrency payments
also hold the benefit of
near real time settlement
into the Fiat currency of their country,
meaning they can access
revenue much quicker.
To read more, head to
a global resource center for
all things blockchain loyalty.