Touriocity takes the next step with OST.com with OST Alpha Phase III
At Touriocity, it is exciting times. We are delivering unique private tours each day all over the world and we are working on some very interesting partnerships that we feel are going to take us to the next level as a company.
One of the most interesting and potentially impactful collaborations we are working on is with OST.com. At Touriocity, we have always been fascinated by the potential of blockchain technologies and in time de-centralising our own platform. Allied to the theoretical benefits(for another blog), the idea of having our own token was always the killer application of blockchain for us. As a company that works with suppliers in 60 cities, we are very susceptible to currency fluctuations and what we feel are unjustifiable banking fees for cross border payments. There are certain bookings that our margin gets completely eroded. Considering we are a digital business in a digital age, we are all operating on top of a legacy banking infrastructure from the 1970s which is not fit for purpose for many marketplace companies of the 21st century.
Having our own blockchain based Token where all the stakeholders of our platform used that token (at least to some extent initially) could potentially remove many of those drawbacks. Allied to that, we have always felt that at Touriocity, it is our tour guides and our suppliers who are the actual product. They deliver the happiness to the customer, we are just facilitating that to happen seamlessly. We had also considered ways to thank and reward the great guides and suppliers. We went as far as researching having an equity pool for the best performing suppliers and guides so everyone is aligned. Naturally, on further investigation, we realised that the complicated nature of our vision would be prohibitively expensive to set up. Once again, the new models that were emerging with blockchain technologies offered a glimpse of something similar being possible by being able to incentivise our guides with tokens and ownership of the platform.
However, actual blockchain utility was a pipe dream for us. We had too much on our plate to make that shift and simply thought it too risky to make the jump for now. ‘Let’s see how others get on first’ was the attitude.
It was back in October when we first came across OST.com. It was called Simple Token back then and as we read the white paper, one by one all of our inhibitions to jump into blockchain were being removed and replaced with wide open space of opportunity and new ideas.
In essence, working with OST, allow us to not only dip our toe but to fully integrate blockchain technology and all its benefits into our business model and core propositions, while not having to have one blockchain developer on the books. All we need to work on is our front end interface considerations and assess how we utilise the OST APIs. It is an amazing feeling when you find a solution like this, and then even better when you realise that you are an early adopter with them and you can help them shape the product. What’s not to like about that?
We are now working with OST on their third Proof of Concept with partners which is called OST Alpha Phase III. This is a very interesting one as it is the first time we are looking at how the digital wallet will look and integrate into our platform. If you are reading this article you most likely pretty au fait with tokens and blockchain, but 99% of our customer and supply base will not know what we are talking about when we release this. It needs to be done in a way that looks seamless and not really a big departure from the typical behaviour on our platform. That is going to be challenge. The beauty is that we can focus on the usability on our side while OST take care of all the crazy mind-blowing stuff on the blockchain side. I’m not sure there is a better way right now.
Our team is scoping out how the wallet will look, where it will sit and how we explain it to suppliers and customers. On top of that we need to showcase the most likely transactions that will take place on the wallet.
Onwards and upwards and we will check back in a few weeks.