Crypto and blockchain are making big moves into the travel industry. The CEO of Booking.com thinks that crypto can grow in the European and Asian travel industry. These markets rely less on credit cards compared with the United States. At the same time IBM’s blockchain division launches a pilot for a blockchain-powered travel platform.
Booking.com CEO Glenn Fogel said that additional payment systems need to be seamless. Fogel told Skift.com that he believes that blockchain-based currencies are here to stay and will push away our traditional money system.
IBM wants to use blockchain to create more trust between parties involved in the travel business. Their system should tell all parties who is getting which share. By using a distributed ledger, agencies and hotels can see a;; bookings and their commission status at all times. IBM Services, Travelport, and BCD Travel are now working together to develop a minimum viable product (MVP) to streamline the commission process between BCD and three high profile hotel chains.
Already busy with blockchain
Booking.com is on-board with Facebook’s Libra stablecoin, but this is not their last crypto project. Booking.com and Hotels.com are in the Lolli reward program. Through Lolli online shoppers can get a small percentage of their money back in Bitcoin. Booking isn’t the only one keeping their eyes on cryptocurrencies. The biggest UK business travel company allowed clients to pay using bitcoin.
Booking.com is seeing competition from startups. They try to gain an advantage with blockchain technology. Travala and Locktrip are cutting out middlemen. They use automated systems and smart contracts. This way consumers save money on hotel bookings. Locktrip announced that they integrate flight tickets with hotel bookings. Accenture and other companies create digital travel identification systems. Other blockchain solutions develop communication systems that would reduce lines and waiting times at airports.
Also published on Medium.