The Three Inquirers
Maksim Izmaylov
854

Hi Maxim,

Thanks for taking the time to respond but I would rather classify your answers as quite weak which in turn raise more points themselves on how WindingTree ever will become an operational model …
(It also seems that you operational knowledge of the travel industry/OTAs is quite limited and a lot of the above sounds like “well…they need to solve it…not my problem” which really does not add any further confidence here)

So to go a bit more into detail here:

Issue 1: Easily possible “fake hotel” scam

“Easily possible fake hotel scam” is actually impossible. This is not a problem that we need to solve since it’s been solved many times by the industry. AirBnB solved it, Expedia solved it, etc. How? First, reputation system. Second, if there is a new hotel with no reviews, the payment won’t’ be sent to them until there are 10–100–1000 positive reviews of the hotel/airline/etc.

→ So that is exactly what the current non-blockchain industry has as the difference maker here: a centralized clearing system which is tightly controlled (and thus in essence the exact opposite what you are trying to achieve here). And not payment getting received: you would want hotels to agree to a model where they need to wait until they get a certain number of reviews? Plus you can easily fake positive reviews with doing some minor-value, left-pocket-right-pocket transactions from the same scammer…and then go in with the full scam once the compressed market situation appears.

And “AirBnb solved it, Expedia solved it, etc.” just means to me that you are ok with building a major flaw in your system and then let someone else pick up the pieces — so where exactly would that be the next big step in travel…?

Issue 2: Currency fluctuation (big!!)

Currency fluctuations in crypto are crazy. It doesn’t mean travel companies have to deal with it. We have two solutions. a) converting Líf to fiat only at the time of the transaction, b) a special insurance smart contract that will make sure you aren’t underpaid.

→ a) would mean that if the Líf will fluctuate crazy later on you are putting all the “opportunity cost of capital” risk on either the hotel or the traveler — that is basic economics that you guys are not covering here and not a solution b) Special insurance: Well, who will take this on? Which insurance company? Do you have agreements on this? Did you pitch this to an insurance company? The travel world only has a few real insurance brokers (like HeulerHermes) and they are super risk-averse — so is this then just a hypothetical pipe dream in your heads or would you have any presentable agreements from insurance brokers to support this?

(I suspect you will then say again “well, not our problem, the users/suppliers gotta figure that one out” which brings us back to the point of building a system with a major flaw — and letting other people pick up the pieces…)

Issue 3: File-size of decentralized portfolio and traffic load

Fritz is not very familiar with crypto. If he were, he’d know about state channels that make this issue (and issue 4) solvable. I encourage everyone to read about state channels and lightning network, in particular. It was even on our blog: https://blog.windingtree.com/lif-token-state-channels-1dc2629617f0
 → Never said its not solvable but rather the cost associated with it as it seems that tech guys seem to forgot that those fancy cloud services cost money too, right? The volume of transactions in relationsship to the file size will just create possible high servers cost. So I guess you did not understand this right: this is not a tech issue, but a busines one via hardware cost

Issue 5: Supplier cost (Cancellations)

5. With our smart contracts, every supplier will be able to define their own business rules around cancellations. Something they can’t do with Expedia or Priceline.
Hold on: as per your definition every supplier needs to put in some Líf when they upload something, like inventory. So if that booking gets cancelled that previous cost will still occur, right? Unless that works different, but your white paper does not give any specific rules. And that suppliers cannot define business rules around cancellations with Expedia or b.com? Clearly again you seem to have little operative knowledge of the OTA world…

So all in all your post here is a rather intended like a P/R quickfix but not rather as deep thought responses about the operational issues in the travel industry — and it seems quite likely that the knowledge in your team is not as deep as to really fix that via a Blockchain solution.

I stand by my point: Blockchain in Travel is a great idea with many solutions.

However, WindingTree seems to be fundamentally flawed in many aspects (which is also reflected by the broad industry echo I personally received via direct messages from top-notch industry experts) and you guys still owe a lot of answers….

One clap, two clap, three clap, forty?

By clapping more or less, you can signal to us which stories really stand out.