Blockchain, the technology that supports Bitcoin - a digital currency that's traded for goods and services - has revolutionized the finance sector. Thirty of the world's largest banks are collectively building blockchain solutions and the technology has powered millions of users. Blockchain could also have ramifications for the travel industry, too.

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2 years ago

Bear in mind Airbnb hired most of ChangeCoin who run bitcoin micropayments. What they have in mind in terms of bitcoin and block chain technology is not exactly clear, but it is probably related to tracking transactions and data to build a clearer picture of who they are and what they do. In the online travel booking industry, this can relate to trust – trustworthiness of guests and hosts. Do guests treat the property with respect, pay on time etc.? Do hosts provide the services advertised? These are the questions that can potentially be answered with block chain technology.

Is this necessary when sites like Airbnb are already successfully self-regulating? Or will it better help guests find reputable hosts and vice versa? The latter will certainly help if establishing new services on a new platform, where previous experience on a different platform can help build your profile.

The idea is that all previous behavior can be collected and transported to other places, sites, businesses and people. There is a significant privacy issue here, and one that is yet to be fully discussed.

2 years ago

Perhaps someone will build a new booking website using "smart contracts" to ensure guests are booking directly with the owner with no hidden charges or guest service fees. A website actually run by owners.

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