Blockchain Changes Booking and Travel Market

LockChain. co launches its 0% commission travel marketplace for hotels and short-term rentals — 100,000 hotels will be integrated in Feb 2018
19 January 2018   482

What is LockChain?

A blockchain-based service for accommodation booking LockChain.co has officially announced Alpha release of its marketplace. The version kicks off with around 600 completely integrated listings, possibility for hosts to list their properties for free, as well as travelers to book without any commissions, and will feature 100,000 hotels by the end of February 2018, providing accommodation options worldwide.

Booking.com and Airbnb.com charge on average 20% from each booking that is made through their platform. Our plan is to utilize advanced blockchain technology and to cut out any commissions. It is the right of the host to receive the full amount of the money for the investment that they are making, and it is certainly the right of the traveler to be able to pay directly to hosts for their travel experience.
 

Nikola Alexandrov

CEO, LockChain

LockChain.co challenges giants such as booking.com and airbnb.com with its blockchain based online travel booking application. The company eliminates commissions and directly links clients to hosts through the unique blockchain-based LOC travel engine. The engine will utilize smart contracts to process bookings, which will provide a free-to-use trustless environment that protects both clients and hosts.

Any short-term rental host can register and list its property on the LockChain Marketplace completely free of charge and enjoy 0% commission on their revenue.

Some commissions with current established travel providers can reach as high as 50%, which is unfair. Nobody wants to pay that kind of money to someone who is just a middleman and does not add value to the actual travel experience. Accommodation sector is in a bad need of transparency.
 

Nikola Alexandrov

CEO, LockChain

LockChain Features

Below is the list of some of the major features present in Alpha version.

General Features:

  • Personal LOC/ETH wallet linking to profile.
  • Real-time Multi-currency (GBP, USD , EUR) support via API connectivity.
  • HTML5 Mobile Responsive design via React JS — still some polishing to be done, so please don’t worry if you see some ux flaw on your mobile.
  • Integration with 600+ bookable properties.

Marketplace Storefront Features:

  • Dynamic homes search with real time availability and pricing check, currently with a selector for countries based on available inventory, that will be switched to a city-based search with autocomplete for city specific searches.
  • Dynamic calculation of LOC conversion rate to other crypto- and fiat currencies through averaged LOC price from Coinmarketcap API — properties are priced by hosts in fiat, and the price shown in LOC is automatically adjusted to current LOC rate, so that it will always match the fiat equivalent at the time of booking.
  • When a traveler initiates a booking request, the host will get a notification with the details of the booking, being able to initiate communication and change status to “Cancelled” or “Completed” upon verifying payment.
  • LOC Payment instructions are delivered via email upon initiation of a booking request.
  • Property calendar with availability and rates —  browse up to 90 days ahead and see the specific rates a property has, to choose the best possible rates if you have a flexible travel window ahead.

In addition, there are fully functional login/dashboard interfaces for both travelers and hosts to manage their bookings and trips. 

The company has around 600 properties that are already integrated and have about 18% lower prices when compared to Airbnb. By February 2018, LockChain is expected to expand its inventory to 100,000 hotels, thanks to major strategic partnerships signed in December 2017.

Earlier in November, Lockchain has successfully finished its LOC token sale, amassing a total of 10,500 ETH from around 4,500 individual contributors.

2018 will be all about delivery and actual service adoption/utilization. Many ICOs will fail because of the lack of immediate validation on their product which could be dangerous if it is combined with too much hype. I believe we have a sound approach in this regard since we aimed for a small ICO, and a solid practical business approach with immediate validation. If there is value in the market cap, it should be the result of a product and not of the FOMO effect. Tempted from high market caps, ICOs tend to create huge supply in tokens, which further puts those projects into danger as it artificially inflates their market caps.
 

Nikola Alexandrov

CEO, LockChain

LOC has a supply of only 9.25M circulating tokens from a total of 18.5M LOC issued. Currently the token is traded on HitBTC, Etherdelta, Gatecoin and Mercatox exchanges, and has experienced a 600% increase in value for those who participated in LockChain.co token sale. Even so, according to Coinmarketcap, LOC Token has a market capitalization of only 20M which definitely makes it an interesting pick.

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Singapore's Watchdog to Warn Crypto Exchanges and ICOs

MAS says it has cautioned the exchanges to seek authorization if trading digital tokens that are regulated under the Securities and Futures Act 
24 May 2018   43

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), which performs functions of country's central bank, warned eight local crypto exchanges about the inadmissibility of futures contracts trading and digital tokens with the properties of securities without proper authorization from the regulator. This is reported on the Coindesk.

MAS representatives note that if the tokens traded on Singapore exchanges have properties that allow them to be classified as assets subject to the Securities and Futures Act (SFA), the trade in such coins must be immediately terminated before the regulator is given permission to operate as a authorized financial market operator.

If the digital tokens constitute securities or futures contracts, the exchanges must immediately cease the trading of such digital tokens until they have been authorised as an approved exchange or recognised market operator by MAS.
 

Monetary Authority of Singapore

In addition, local organizers of initial coin offerings (ICO) have also been warned about the inadmissibility of raising funds in Singapore. According to the regulator, ICO-tokens are equity instruments in the assets of companies, and therefore fall within the scope of SFA.

If any digital token exchange, issuer or intermediary  breaches our securities laws, MAS will take firm action. The public should be aware that there is no regulatory safeguard if they choose to trade on unregulated digital token exchanges or invest in digital tokens that fall outside the remit of MAS' rules.
 

Lee Boon Ngiap

Assistant managing director, MAS

According to representatives of MAS, not only issuers of ICO-tokens, but also other platforms that are intermediaries in the exchange of such assets and contribute to their dissemination, can bear responsibility.