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What Winding Tree's ICO And Its Blockchain-Based Technology Mean To The Travel Industry Posted on Feb 12 - 2018

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The Internet was supposed to disrupt the middlemen. Yes, it created some peer-to-peer technology and services.

However, middlemen are doing better than ever. Uber and Airbnb, with their lack of hard assets, are quintessential middlemen.

In the travel world, Expedia, Priceline, Kayak, and Booking.com are also middlemen par excellence.

The Internet was supposed to level the playing field and disrupt monopolies. Today, Expedia and Priceline control 95% of the US Online Travel Agency (OTA) market. Just three travel companies (Amadeus, Sabre, and Travelport) own at least 90 percent of the Global Distribution Systems market share.

In 2010, Google bought ITA Software to create its flight booking engine. In 2014, it opened it up to small business and individuals to access. On April 10, 2018, however, Google will close off access to its QPX Express API service. This will shut out small companies from accessing its valuable travel data.

Meanwhile, private travel data kept on centralized servers have security risks. Last year, for example, Sabre was hacked.

Blockchain to the rescue?

Blockchain technology guarantees tight, immutable security. It also promises to do what the Internet failed to do: destroy the middleman.

Is the second time the charm? Or are the geeks crying wolf again?

What is Winding Tree?

Winding Tree is a nonprofit that aims to stir innovation in the travel industry by leveraging public Blockchain technology . It is creating a decentralized travel distribution network.

If their vision succeeds, travelers and travel service providers (e.g., hotels, airlines, tour guides) will split the billions of dollars that travel middlemen currently take. Translation: lower prices for the traveler and higher profits for the entities that actually deliver the service to the customer.

To facilitate this vision, Winding Tree has been raising money (Ethereum) via an Initial Coin Offering (ICO) which will close this Valentine’s Day (February 14, 2018). Their token is called the Líf (pronounced “leaf”).

I interviewed Winding Tree’s CEO, Maksim Izmaylov, to learn more. On February 13, you will be able to listen to our one-hour conversation on the new WanderLearn podcast. View More

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