Interview with architects of DeskBell Chain
Luciano Sluiter, student of Hotelschool The Hague, interviewed us for his dissertation. His subject for academic study was “How blockchain technologies might disrupt the hospitality industry”. We consider that new inevitably disrupt old and this is positive process.Questions were answered by architects of DeskBell Chain Andrei Karachkin and Gennady Smagin.
Luciano Sluiter: Do you believe that the blockchain technology can become disruptive to the hotel industry, and why? If not, could it be disruptive to certain business processes?
Andrei Karachkin: Technologies themselves are impersonal and are not destructive in actual fact. Technologies are oriented to facilitate the life and work of people. They can be used as a tool in any of the spheres, but the applied technology is always aimed at solving a problem, even if this task is destructive for other spheres. It remains only to understand what kind of problem the technology is to solve such as blockchain in the hotel and tourist sphere.
Gennady Smagin: We can assume that the blockchain technologies will be destructive in some aspects of the business, replacing the old mechanisms with the new ones in the positive result, in tasks that the blockchain accomplishes. Namely, in the security of certain legal procedures, in providing guarantees without third parties, in the transparency and authenticity of transactions, both financial and based on smart contracts.
Luciano Sluiter: Most blockchain applications/platform for the hotel industry focus mainly on the following business processes: payment process, reservations process, room distribution, data usage, personal verification and the reward process (some processes overlap each other).
Which of these processes do you believe, require the most attention (highest priority) from the blockchain technology (or do you believe there are other important ones?). And why?
Andrei Karachkin: The sphere of the blockchain technology application is rather narrow and is based on two main postulates: openness and authenticity of data, on the basis of which, it is possible to solve many problems of world information exchange. The tasks listed in the question can be solved and have been always solved without the usage of the blockchain technology. The main task of the blockchain is to build a trusted information exchange between people, where the legal regulation of this exchange will be undertaken by a self-regulating system based on smart contracts.
Gennady Smagin: It is difficult for us to single out the most priority process, but in part, the objectivity of priorities is shown by the market distribution itself, while the blockchain technologies can be used almost everywhere in the circulation of funds and information. So, in the hotel sphere, booking systems, having market leaders, first developed. The same can be said about the mechanisms that the hotel business has adopted as already established: money circulation and payment systems in the world of fiat funds and legal regulation-in personal verification.
We can add important information, marketing, and advertising processes in the hotel and tourism industries and that’s what DeskBell Chain is aimed at. In our opinion, this area, being a priority, could not independently form its own standards for a number of reasons: the need of large investments in promotion; mobile technologies are still experiencing widespread adoption and the little use of mobile capabilities in many industries. In addition, there are a lot of existing promotion mechanisms (search engines, web, television, press and so on) in the sphere of tourism. We faced all these difficulties ourselves in the DeskBell project.
Luciano Sluiter: Based on the above chosen business process. How can blockchain revolutionize this business process?
Gennady Smagin: Speaking of the information and marketing tools as priorities, we see the breakthrough ability of the blockchain to create an evolving mechanism — an ecosystem of mutual motivation that loses centralization in our project with growth and turns into a network of many partners for exchanging information and services. Here, as they say, the quantity changing into quality. The blockchain platform will be able to promote itself with the growth of interested users, solving previously mentioned problems.
Luciano Sluiter: What are the major challenges that hoteliers should take into consideration when thinking of implementing or using the blockchain technology in their business?
Gennady Smagin: Unfortunately, the main difficulties for hoteliers will be general problems concerning the role of the blockchain technologies in the world, in the legal status of smart contracts and their connection with local and international legislation, the same applies to the position of cryptocurrencies, inextricably linked with the blockchain as a whole.
Fortunately for hoteliers, most of these problems will be undertaken by developers of the blockchain projects, to look for both general and individual solutions for integrating technologies. We already feel the effect ourselves, on the one hand, developing a transparent mechanism that does not need legal regulation, on the other hand, working closely with lawyers.
We firmly believe that in order to solve these problems, it is necessary to continue the expansion of the blockchain technologies in all areas of activity, especially in real and ongoing projects. Only as follows, the blockchain will have a foothold, which will be impossible to ignore, neither for business nor for legislation.