Is blockchain in travel overhyped?
Different views have been presented regarding development of blockchain technology and business on travel. Multi-token ecosystem named STEP has been raised by Brillembourg Group.
David Brillembourg, CEO of the Brillembourg Group, which has launched STEP, a simple travel ecosystem protocol for the hotel business, reckons that than 95% of the blockchain businesses around today will not survive, a view echoed by recent findings from data analyst GlobalData.
Meanwhile, another poll revealed that executives were equally split (43% in each camp) on whether blockchain would be a key technology, or nice to have add-on for travel.
“Two billion people are playing video games and they are living virtual lives. For them it is completely natural to own tokens.”
Hospitality investment guru Brillembourg has been focusing his attention on how the phenomenon of blockchain and crypto-economics impacts the travel industry. In doing so, he has come up with a multi-token ecosystem, which he believes will solve the three different issues facing the hotel industry.
The first token is a mechanism for reservations, and the idea is that anybody will able to use it, including the OTAs. However, Brillembourg argues that for a coin to be transactional it needs to be a stable, global currency for hotel reservations that consumers and the hotel industry alike can use. Instead of being speculative like the coins or tokens issued today, it will be backed by room inventory. If there is no inventory, then there can be no coin.
The second token in the STEP ecosystem will be to finance the platform. “We are creating an equity token for the platform itself,” Brillembourg explains, and any interested parties, which could include OTAs, are welcome to own part of platform.
The third token will be for the securitisation of the actual real estate, the physical hotel asset.
According to Brillembourg, the three coins will interoperate, and anybody who wants to be involved in the hotel business can do so by owning the hotel, owning the room night or owning the platform.
Unlike Winding Tree, and many other hotel platforms with big goals to disintermediate the industry, Brillembourg’s view is that “blockchain is not a substitute for OTAs, it’s just an alternative distribution channel”.
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