The what, why and how of blockchain in travel

Blockchain technology is in its infancy, but it’s clear that it will change many industries in radical ways. Today bitcoin price The most brilliant minds of our time are trying to understand all the implications, but it will take some time.

NB: This is a viewpoint by Maksim Izmaylov, founder and CEO of Roomstorm.


Bitcoin chart coinbase He has also helped to start Travel Tech Con and Winding Tree (mentioned below).

As with many other technologies, startups will play the key role in this process by testing these ideas in the wild and trying different approaches. What is a bitcoin mine We’ll surely see some big wins and we’ve already seen disasters, such as The DAO.

I’ve already seen multiple “X + blockchain” ideas, where the “blockchain” part is not relevant to the idea, so let’s discuss some of the aspects of the blockchain that you can use in your business today.

Blockchain is simply a type of database which has several interesting features. Bitcoin zar exchange First of all, it’s immutable, meaning that records can only be added to that database and never removed or changed.

For example the Bitcoin blockchain (yes, there are multiple blockchains out there!) is hosted by millions of machines. Value of 1 bitcoin in usd It’s important to distinguish private blockchains, where all the computers in the network are controlled by one organization and which you can’t freely access, and public blockchains, such as Bitcoin, Ethereum and Hyperledger.

Last, but not least, one can deploy a piece of computer code onto a blockchain and, because that database is immutable, that code will be stored and executed there forever.

Basically, a blockchain is a virtual machine that can execute computer code. Bitcoin price historical data You can write programs for the Bitcoin blockchain by using a computer language called Script.

But Script is too low level, it’s hard to use, that’s why other blockchains, such as Ethereum, were born. Bitcoin value 2009 Ethereum developers created a new computer language called Solidity which is much more flexible than Script.

Just like in Conway’s Game of Life three simple features allow for immense complexity. By bitcoin Let’s discuss a few obvious implications of these “rules” and some high-level concept enabled by them.

Because blockchain databases are distributed among millions of computers, the reliability of those networks, depending on their size, is, theoretically, 100%.

Again, it’s very important to understand that private blockchains can be shut down any time by the organization that controls its nodes, but public blockchains can’t be controlled (or shut down) even by their creators.

The immutability aspect of blockchains and the fact that they are distributed among multiple computers means that it’s extremely hard for a hacker to tamper with. Bitcoin accept Each computer in the network is constantly checking other nodes for validity.

With public blockchains there is a risk of a “51% attack” where a party that could seize control of 51% of computers in the network can theoretically control the system. What is bitcoin wiki Such risk is, of course, extremely small, for a number of reasons, but that’s a topic for a separate article.

For example, I will only trust that your name is John Smith if you show me your driver’s license or passport. Bitcoin exchange script Those documents are very hard for authorities to produce and hard for individuals to tamper with.

They usually have multiple layers of security – such as watermarks, holographic images and, recently, biometric information about their owner.

Banks are another example of a type of institution that we are accustomed to trust. Register for bitcoin Your expectation is that if you put $1,000 into your bank account, you’ll be able to retrieve it later on.

Whenever you transfer $500 from your bank account to your business partner’s account, you can rely on your bank to confirm that the transaction has been sent, that the other party’s bank received it and that the amount of money left in your account is now $500.

These days we already have an alternative to the banking system – Bitcoin (BTC). Local bitcoin com All the computers on the Bitcoin blockchain contain information about all the accounts in the network, so everyone knows that you have exactly 1BTC in your possession (where “you” is represented by a hash – a long string of numbers and characters called “address”).

The same applies to the aforementioned problem of identification. Value of a bitcoin If you put a record onto a blockchain that would contain your name and, let’s say, your fingerprints, you will be able to easily prove that you are who you are in an automated way, without an organization in the middle.

Whole organizations, for example escrow funds, can now be replaced with just a few lines of computer code. Lowest bitcoin price All interested parties in this case will be able to see that party A transacted a certain amount of money to an address on a blockchain that will send that money to party B, when certain conditions are met.

This is a very powerful concept that now allows us to create organisations that could govern whole industries, but that would lack all the downsides of monopolies.

Winding Tree is a decentralized autonomous marketplace for travel. Price of a bitcoin It’s one single organisation, but no one can control it and raise transaction fees or cut someone off the network.

Blockchain also gave rise to a whole new type of business organisation, where a cryptocurrency issued by that organisation acts as its shares and at the same time as its internal currency, in which its contributors can be rewarded.

This new business model allows startups to raise money and at the same time pump value into their cryptocurrency by giving discounts to early buyers.

There are already investors, such as Olaf Carlson-Wee, that only invest in cryptocurrencies, and there is a number of new challenges associated with this model.

In the recent news, an Australian company WebJet announced that it is building a hotel distribution solution on the Microsoft blockchain. Bitcoin worth usd This project, because it’s built on top of a private blockchain, has obvious disadvantages to Winding Tree, an open-source decentralized distribution platform for travel.

But there are many other ideas and concepts that are now possible thanks to blockchain technology and our job is to try and test those ideas.

I am pleased to see the topic get some publicity in the travel distribution domain, I want to ensure that from the outset expectations are correctly set and in line with other streams of dialog on this topic in our industry.

Blockchain cant be hacked: You rightly reference the DOA and Ethereum as examples of where actually the blockchain WAS hacked, but not in the sense that the broad public understands “hack” (gaining access to a system to conduct malicious activity) but it was indeed a hack in the sense of leveraging weaknesses of the smart contract framework and loopholes in security triggers which resulted in hemorrhaging (and ultimate loss) of funds for investors and a hard fork of the code. Bitcoin exchange rate graph Applications that run on blockchains CAN be abused/manipulated/hacked, so lets not give the wrong sense of security here.

Blockchain enables trust: As outlined above, the blockchain is purely a distributed ledger, so the transactions are visible. Bitcoin price forecast Blind trust in systems using blockchain should not be a given. Bitcoin chart widget Any new business applications using blockchain technology will need to be just as securely vetted as any other application running on other “legacy” technologies, and where established companies will have an advantage in delivering such solutions.

Disintermediation: While I strongly agree that new applications / solutions that leverage blockchain technologies WILL disintermediate current models and market participants, I will point out that we must avoid the hype here. Bitcoin price aud You claim that Winding Tree is a decentralized autonomous marketplace, I would argue that without very robust smart contracts (see Ethereum / DOA nightmare) in place you cannot have an “autonomous” marketplace, and that your idea to put inventory on the blockchain is somewhat flawed (your site states “We aim to start with inventory availability information from hotels, airlines and tour and activity providers in order to enable travel agents to book hotel rooms and airline tickets”). Bitcoin price expectations Unless you pair quantum computing with blockchain (again, its just a distributed ledger) it will not be able to cope with (since it is not designed for it) the reality of real time pricing / product generation volatility that the industry operates in today.

Sure, if you make the assumption that we still revolve around pure ARI push messages once a day and blockchain is a cache of availability and pricing, I would agree. Bitcoin exchange thailand But with the real time dynamic pricing (literally a price exists at time of shopping the system for that request and possibly never ever again), connected complexities of seasonal, discounting, superior rate and stay based tax rules by country, blockchain is damned to be what it was designed to be – a transparent ledger of transactions. Bitcoin price history chart Unless, as said – you have a quantum computing farm in your basement. Learn about bitcoin Not even Google (and the DO have a big basement) can keep up with the real time pricing of today’s travel distribution systems.

Create on the other hand a connection between real time inventory systems, blockchain/smart contract purchasing process and IoT framwork in hotels/airlines to “consume” your purchased product – then you have a solution that will truly disintermediate and allow the creation of new decentralized business models. Where is bitcoin accepted That is precisely what established technology companies are doing, not only in the banking and software verticals (Microsoft, IBM, SAP).

For the sake of this article I’ve simplified a few things. What exactly is bitcoin Anything can be hacked, of course. Bitcoin price right now For example, if someone gets access to your computer (passwords or private keys), the will be able to “hack” your account. Open a bitcoin account Though in comparison with current centralized companies, blockchains are harder to hack and some types of attacks, like what Wells Fargo did to their customers, are hardly possible on the Bitcoin blockchain. The value of a bitcoin Well, again, with 51% majority it might be possible, but it will destroy the network and the 51% majority will suffer the most. When was bitcoin created In any case, I think it’s a topic for a separate article, or rather multiple articles and white papers.

Regarding disintermediation. Bitcoin which country currency I believe that the problems that we aim to solve are extremely important and we will have to deal with active resistance from GDSs. Bitcoin exchange companies The only weapon that we have, because we don’t have billions of dollars like they do, is to predict how the whole travel ecosystem can operate in the future, 5-10 years from now. Bitcoin b Our goal is to rally the troops and aling to solve a common goal and that goal can’t be phrased as “we may solve that problem or maybe we will not.” Instead, my message is this: we will solve these problems or we will die trying.

I also don’t have an illusion that all travel companies will use WT at some point in the future, that’s very improbable. How is bitcoin value determined The network will be growing over time and capacities of blockchains will grow over time as well. Bitcoin history It’s a long shot and right now we can only speculate whether Ethereum or Rootstock will support the required number of transactions per second for all the needs of the apps that will be built on top of those platforms.

You are absolutely right about predicting the flow of connecting inventory system and IoT devices, like smart locks at hotels, etc. Bitcoin home It will be a part of the platform, just not in the initial phase. The price of bitcoin One of our goals is to attract developers to the platform, so, for example, they can quickly build property management systems that would integrate with those locks, etc.