Blockchain-based Irish Platform Wants to Ensure that Airline Passengers Get Compensated

A start-up in Ireland is hoping to transform the relationship between airlines and their passengers through their blockchain-based app.


Traveling by plane is all fun and games until your flight gets canceled or delayed. Depending on the airline, affected passengers may also struggle to get their refund or even notification that their flight won’t be on time. An Irish start-up hopes to solve both of these issues through blockchain technology and virtual currencies.

Blockchain and Tokens to Make a Difference

According to the Irish Times, the Travacoin app will not only allow passengers to be notified as soon as there is a change in the flight plan but will also assist in expediting compensation, in the form of tokens, if they require it. These tokens, in turn, can be used as a form of payment at stores or even hotels in and around the airport.

The founder of the platform, Brian Whelan, may not have any disruptive industry experience but he does have plenty of aviation industry knowledge. He discussed what impact his app could have on customer satisfaction:

Airlines could contact passengers and inform them that they have both good and bad news. The bad news is the flight is delayed for a few hours but the good news is that we’re going to give you a couple of hundred euros in tokens right now. The result for passengers is that don’t have to fight with airlines to get compensation. Furthermore, they could also be offered discounts by other partners to encourage them to spend those tokens in or around the airport.

Whelan has previously worked at companies that assisted affected passengers in obtaining any refunds, taxes or other types of compensation that were due to them because of previously canceled or delayed flights.

While no company wants to voluntarily part with their cash, Whelan believes that due to consumer awareness, airlines will soon be forced to give their customers what’s due to them. He explained:

Awareness of passengers’ rights has grown from less than 1 percent in 2008 to about 10 percent, according to the European Consumer Centre. This has resulted in real payouts, which hurt airlines’ balance sheets.

Blockchain

Canvassing for Contributions

Even so, Whelan’s initiative received recognition at the 2016 Passenger Innovation Awards at the International Air Transport Association (IATA) World Passenger Symposium. The founder then went on to develop a minimum viable product (MVP) but has bigger plans. Whelan is currently courting companies to invest in his platform in order to develop a comprehensive version of the app that can, hopefully, be used by the aviation industry. However, innovation and growth don’t come cheap. Whelan is hoping to raise about $1.7 million to realize his dream.

He touched on how his completed app could impact the industry:

Our selling point for would-be investors is that this business plan works not just for flight disruption but far beyond this. If we can make it work for compensating passengers though we can then look at rolling it across the aviation ecosystem.

Blockchain is no stranger to the aviation industry. Live Bitcoin News has previously reported that many airports and airlines are looking at the technology has a solution to streamlining certain processes.

Do you think that Travacoin has a good idea? Will airlines come on board with this initiative? Let us know in the comments below!


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Deloitte Is Creating Blockchain Trust Layers Within Commerce

Deloitte is working to create a deployment of blockchain technology for its global clients. The company’s first blockchain lab in Ireland is now over two years old.


The billion-dollar professional services company was quick to step into blockchain development services for its enterprise client base.

Many ICOs and blockchain innovators are creating ambitious projects which could take time to develop into real-world applications. Then, they will be faced with engaging consumers and businesses to adopt or utilize these new platforms. And that’s if they have the funding.

As a multi-national company with an extensive client base and now with its own teams of blockchain developers, Deloitte, like IBM and others could have a march on being able to bring blockchain into the real world, faster. These industry giants will still face issues.

New Platform Allows Converting Rewards From Loyalty Programs Into Cryptocurrencies

The Deloitte EMEA Blockchain Lab in Ireland opened in 2016, it now has two more, one in Hong Kong, and one in New York. The Irish lab includes technologists who focus on design and development and also strategists who work with clients on their blockchain adoption and implementation.

The lab is an EMEA center of excellence for Deloitte, which works right from the idea stage, through to testing and creating technical architecture, design, development, and then to deployment.

David Dalton, consulting partner and financial services lead at Deloitte, told Silicon Republic:

We have all of the support you would expect in a lab. We have the R&D, we have the thought leadership, we also speak a lot and build awareness around it. But the core of what we do is work with building clients’ real-world solutions on blockchain technology.

Blockchain — Creating Trust

Antonio Senatore, chief technology officer, explained that organizations are looking to use blockchain to add an extra layer to transactional infrastructures in order to provide trust. This is something developers have been trying to achieve for years, finally finding refuge in blockchain:

You can see blockchain almost as an indexing layer, a trust layer on top of a data exchange facility, and that’s what we’ve been seeing so far.

This notion fits with real-world applications of blockchain outside of Deloitte. In payments and remittances, as well as supply chains, blockchain is first being widely tested for adding a secure way to confirm and share information pertaining to transactions and trades. 

Technology is Not the Only Problem

The challenge with this type of network technology, Deloitte finds, is getting industry stakeholders to work together — to decide governance and to turn ideas into reality. Anthony Day, CEO says:

The technology is really only 20 percent of the problem; the other 80 percent is getting a multidisciplinary group together.

Day says it’s about pioneering the future:

Taking blockchain live is more than just the technology. You are actually creating real transformation; you are creating entirely new ecosystems or processes that didn’t exist before.

These new processes need buy-in along the whole value chain. A challenge that blockchain will face in both consumer and commercial application across all industries if it will become a truly foundational technology.

What challenges do you think blockchain will face before mainstream adoption can be achieved?


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Coinbase Opens Office in Dublin to Serve the European Market

The leading cryptocurrency exchange, Coinbase, has announced the opening of its new office in Dublin, the Irish capital city.


Firm Starts European Operations

Coinbase, the U.S.-based leading cryptocurrency exchange, has been working aggressively to grow its business. As part of its growth strategy, the company has taken multiple steps, including the launch of services for institutional customers (Coinbase Custody, Coinbase Prime, and Coinbase Institutional Coverage group), a partnership with Caspian to provide advanced trading tools, the launch of new “bundle” offerings, and plans for adding new coins.

Now to service customers in Europe, the firm has set up its office in Dublin, the capital of Ireland. The announcement states:

The number of Coinbase customers in the European Union (EU) grew faster than any other market in 2017. As we scale, we need to attract the best, most qualified and passionate talent to help us achieve our mission of creating an open financial system for the world.

As reported by Live Bitcoin News earlier this month, the firm is also looking to raise $500 million for further expansion and was in negotiations with investment firm Tiger Global that would value the firm at around $8 billion.

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Dublin’s Growing Eco-System

The firm boiled down their choice to the city to Dublin after looking at various venues across Europe. The Irish capital emerged as the city of choice due to its local talent pool, support for technology innovation, and the growing blockchain community.

Dublin is home to many blockchain facilities and will be hosting a conference being organized by the International Organisation of Standards (ISO) next year.

“Dublin is a talent hotspot for companies like Coinbase as they scale and internationalize critical businesses operations,” said Martin Shanahan, CEO of IDA Ireland, the country’s inward investment agency. He added:

We look forward to welcoming Coinbase into the Irish economy, and helping them access our talented pool of young professionals from the technology and financial services sectors.

Ireland

A Welcome Development for Ireland’s Fintech Sector

The Dublin office would complement the existing operations in London. As the firm plans to set up new functions, it will create new jobs in the city. It will also help build expertise in blockchain technology.

Expressing his pleasure at the development, Michael D’Arcy T.D, Minister for Financial Services and Insurance, said:

I am delighted that Coinbase is opening an office in Dublin. This decision highlights the competitive offering and attractiveness of Ireland for financial services.

Coinbase continues to take aggressive steps to grow and expand its wings across different geographies. That the firm, which is one of the world’s oldest, largest, and most trusted platforms in the cryptocurrency space, wants to maintain its position as a leading player is evident.

Do you think opening an office in Dublin will help Coinbase grow its business in Europe? Let us know in the comments below.


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