2019 Predictions - Blockchain Will Not Be A Buzzword But Will Change Our Life (Part 5)
By Fabian Bartnick, Vice President, Asia Pacific & International Business at LodgIQ
Blockchain was one of the hypes in 2017 but turned sour in 2018 for most: prices crashing, most ICOs were scams, no SEC approval, and so on. You could argue an 80%+ drop from its high in December 2017 was a sign of giving up. Yet compared to January 2018 it has grown by more than 100%. is it about perspective?
So what has gone wrong?
Well first of all. We got a bit excited in 2017, didn't we? There was no reference price in 2017 and it kept on climbing, ICO's were unregulated and hence anyone could put anything "on the chain" regardless if it was good or bad. Truth is, most people wanted to get rich and had the widely discussed FOMO (Fear of missing out). At that time it wasn't really about Blockchain, it was about the crypto aspect of it and the believe that it would never stop and everyone will get their money back out of it….for many that proved wrong.
Then we have the other side of the industry. The ones that get it, the ones that use it to make something better. and guess what — those companies will tell you that not everything should be whacked on a chain (and yes, there is not "put it on the chain").
So what's in store?
Well for one, if you can believe some of the news out there — the average salary for developing blockchain related tech is skyrocketing. Why?
"Demand has grown as large companies have begun to work on projects that make use of the technology. Facebook, Amazon, IBM and Microsoft are among companies that have job listings at the moment for blockchain engineers."
that means — IF we see demand for it, why wouldn't it be adopted? and don't get me wrong. not adopted as in you buy blockchain, no, I mean tech running on blockchain (what's the internet protocol written on again?)
An when we look at Travel we have really cool companies breaking into the space. Do you hear them shouting from the rooftop, calling it crazy ICO's or wanting to be the poster-child? No, but they have educated discussions around what they want to do and more importantly how it helps:
Travelport, TUI, Webjet, etc: all are companies that are making inroads into blockchain tech for travel. I recently met with Monty Doshi, Director, Architecture APAC and discussed what's in store for the industry re blockchain and what Travelport is doing. Travelport predicts (and I agree 100%):
- In the short-term, most blockchain developments will happen in closed supplier groups on private and permissioned chains within the travel industry.
- In the mid- to long term we may see payments, inventory and order management disrupted by blockchain or distributed ledger technologies.
- Whole trip management on blockchain, air settlement and combining of air supplier journeys we see as a longer-term opportunity, anticipating further evolution within blockchain technology. The evolution of open standards around travel blockchains and the willingness of travel suppliers to offer or sell content on a distributed ledger will drive advancements in these areas.
2019 in my books will drive the backend more than the "killer-app" that the mainstream is looking for. Companies will start adopting some form of blockchain into their techstack and will show savings and increased productivity with less risk to data breach and hacks. This can be in the form of reconciliations of payments, implementation of direct debits or charges and commission payments, customer record collection, etc. Whilst not 100% travel tech drive, it is touching the heart of every Financial Controller in the industry.
Other companies will start the process of digitising real-world assets through shared ownerships (see TEND), others will change the future of funding. This will become interesting for the likes of Airbnb, ownership companies, REITs and of course management companies.
VP, Asia Pacific
Phone: +60 12 2706 897
LodgIQ™ provides advanced travel industry revenue optimization technologies. Its breakthrough next-generation revenue optimization platforms, LodgIQ RM and LodgIQ ONE, were developed by seasoned revenue management executives and Silicon Valley technologists. LodgIQ"s products combine sophisticated machine learning with an intuitive and powerful user interface delivering advanced recommendations and actionable analytics. LodgIQ RM is for full-service hotels while LodgIQ ONE is geared to boutique, independent and focused service hotels. LodgIQ is headquartered in New York City, and maintains offices in Silicon Valley, Singapore, London, and Bangalore.