In early February, we disclosed details of Travel Ledger, and Travel Ledger Alliance, a blockchain based initiative that is building a distributed billing and settlement platform for the travel industry.
I had the “eureka” moment in the Spring of 2017 after learning of Ethereum and Smart Contracts. After a period of gestation, I have been working full-time on the project since last October, after stepping back from my day-to-day duties at Dolphin Dynamics.
Because I want this to be a community driven project, I have involved other travel technology companies; Intuitive (UK) and Tourism Technology (AU) have joined Dolphin Dynamics in exploring this project.
Additionally, I am talking to other travel technology companies as well as a couple of large Supplier and Travel companies about joining the project, in either a synergistic capacity or as founders, to bring the project to market. Before ultimately handing over to the Travel Ledger Alliance, a not-for-profit organisation that will govern the platform going forward.
Paul Nixon, MD of Intuitive Ltd agrees with me that, “This project will deliver an immediate benefit .. to solve a long-standing industry problem that impacts the entire supply chain.” The billing and settlement area in travel has been crying out for proper automation for years. We have such a good example with IATA’s BSP, now blockchain and smart contract technology presents a unique opportunity to create such a platform for non-air transactions in a cost-efficient way whilst putting the community itself in control.
To ensure that Travel Ledger is truly an industry initiative, both owned and run by the travel community, voting rights will be granted to the companies providing power to the network (the masternodes) and to the holders of the value token used on the platform.
Tourism Technology MD, Graeme Hunter, shares my vision when he says that “This platform will bring long overdue efficiencies to all parties and will create the backbone to make further use of blockchain technology into the future.” This is why we want the platform to be open and we envision other companies will over time create their own Smart contracts and DAPS (distributed applications) that will interact with Travel Ledger.
Some more detail:
The Travel Ledger platform will allow all billing records between buyers and sellers of travel products to be stored in a shared, decentralised and authenticated ledger, establishing a “single source of truth” for all parties. Furthermore, it will support settling or recording of payments in a secure and transparent manner; even for payments that take place outside the platform.
For travel companies using Travel Ledger, it is compelling that their existing processes will not change. We want back office suppliers to use the platform APIs, so that the transaction on Travel Ledger will be completely invisible and users will just find already in their current system (in semi-real time) the data that they would normally have to enter manually (usually weeks after the fact).
While the initial release will be focused on the delivery of the seller statement to the buyer, subsequent phases will focus on automating the payment aspect directly from the platform; acting as a gateway for bank payments, credit/debit cards and even cryptocurrencies, to offer companies a full breadth of ways to do business together, without having funds transition via any third party. Once payments are integrated, sellers will then be able to automatically process and reconcile all payments on the receiving end.
The project is being built on the Ethereum platform which is currently considered the most mature and enterprise-ready smart contract platform.
The governing body, the Travel Ledger Alliance, will be composed of a small board of advisors and an operational body to manage the platform and the development team, plus a business development team promoting the API to travel technology companies around the world. This simple API combined with a financial reward will incentivise travel technology companies to integrate with the platform and enable their customers to use the platform without needing to fund the integration; helping to rapidly attain broad adoption across the industry.
The whitepaper and full details of the project are currently being shared only with the founders and companies interested in becoming founder. A public version of the whitepaper will be published later on, ahead of the token generation event.
Companies interested in following the project should sign up for the newsletter on the Travel Ledger Alliance website www.travelledger.org
… and if you are interested in joining the founders team get in touch via the same website.