FAB Use Cases: Travel
In this series, we tackle different potential use cases of Fast Access Blockchain and how we can build a better world through our solutions.
New Applications, New Business Models, New Possibilities
Applications which are an ideal fit for blockchain technology have the following characteristics:
- Involve multiple organizations
- Where trust is key, or trust is presently severely eroded
- Proof is key
- Involve exchange/transfer of assets or value
- Involve data sharing or presently suffers from silo’d data
- Benefit from micro transactions/streaming
- Have opportunities for new business models, products or services
Blockchain technology is a very good fit for addressing many of the pain points for both travel industry customers and businesses. Currently travel is hampered by slow speed in processing travelers, a lack of shared information between governments which may not have great relations, and a lack of transparency with travelers on how their own security profile looks. In the meantime, the air travel industry is growing with air arrivals set to increase 50% by 2030 to 1.8 billion passengers per year. This growth is putting huge stresses on current security procedures as the world becomes increasingly interconnected. Improvements in infrastructure, movement of information and human resources has to coincide with maintenance of security standards to keep up with this changing dynamic.
Several intergovernmental organizations, such as the Known Traveller Digital Identity initiative are researching solutions that will allow passengers to gain control of their own personal profile information that they can forward and share with needed parties in advance of their arrivals. Fast Access Blockchain will be the network built to support these initiatives and their enterprise level needs
Let’s take a deeper look into what these systems could possibly look like and how FAB will be a useful solution.
Imagine that your smartphone has a cryptographic traveller ID key registered on a traveller ID blockchain secured by passcode and your fingerprint (or other biometric means). This traveller ID is used to provide secure access to your electronic passport to required authorities as you travel. With the tap of your phone you can check-in at the airport, and zip through all checkpoints through to boarding. You could even send this information in advance of your arrival up to 1 hour and to all locations you will be traveling to.
With this system you can build a traveller status system. Passengers could add to their profile by including references from different sources, vaccination information and security clearances to get the necessary VISAs for travel. With this information now within their personal profile, they can speed up the VISA process of entering the same countries and other countries by having previous VISAs and information already pre-qualified, creating a speed lane.
Blockchain based decentralized apps (DApps) can disintermediate traditional and online travel agencies (OTAs) as well as GDS companies. (A global distribution system (GDS) is a computerized network system owned or operated by a company that enables transactions between travel industry service providers, mainly airlines, hotels, and car rental companies.) Both OTAs and GDSs have been widely criticized for manipulative pricing, strong-armed negotiation practices, and blocking innovation due to their monopolizing market share. Distributed apps will allow customers to transact directly with service providers without these intermediaries, lowering costs and friction, and enabling innovation.
A scan of your phone can unlock your rental car, and hotel room door. No check-in required. If you’ve ever rode the train system in Japan, which uses people’s smartphones or electronic transit cards, you can appreciate how fast and efficient our travel system could be. Tens of millions of people whoosh through this complex system daily with seemingly zero friction. Queues are rarely seen anywhere. Payment of course can be set up via a smart contract improving speed and efficiency, and without a financial intermediary such as a credit card company taking a cut.
Imagine interoperable loyalty program points across companies automatically converted as you require using smart agents via a blockchain application. Imagine RFID enabled baggage tracking as your baggage is transferred between parties in the airport or between airlines using a shared blockchain ledger. Imagine automatic payout of flight delay and baggage delay insurance using smart contracts.
Imagine an airline bold enough to fully embrace the new era of trust enabled by blockchain technology, that it offers fully transparent flight reservations based on blockchain, where the actual empty seats and all their prices can be seen in real-time by everyone. This should theoretically result in fairer pricing, eliminate overbooking (akin to double spending in blockchain terminology), and honest transparency for rewards travel booking if properly implemented.
All of these potential solutions using blockchain networks maintain personal control of information, security and safety while allowing for increased comfort, lower costs for end users, and more accurate identity determination for governments.
Fast Access Blockchain would be the ideal solution for these needs due to the design structure. The FAB network will use Annex Chains for transactions; each country, airline or airport can have their own specified Annex Chain to process transactions of passenger information. The Smart Contract Agent Route of the Annex Chain will route the transaction data under one Universal address into the Foundation Chain, greatly reducing friction and allowing for quick transaction speeds. Each transaction to the Foundation Chain will carry 100,000 inputs/outputs. This is important for movement of passengers quickly within all stops of a customs or VISA processing network.
The KanBan protocol will update passenger state information to the Foundation Blockchain and Open Storage Architecture so that there will always be a running view of passenger rating and location without overburdening the Foundation Chain with individual transaction data sent. This allows for viewing important proofs and must-share information such as health risk information, VISAs previously held, and citizenship.
Most importantly, FAB has an application layer for easy build of applications based on the needs of individual stakeholders. No blockchain development knowledge will be needed to build the applications needed to support these systems. This allows for more personalization for developers.
FAB allows enterprises and governments looking to create a network of traveler information faster transaction speeds, a decentralized infrastructure, open storage of information for future data analysis, and an application layer for ease of build.
Written by: Ken Tang and Eugene Cofie
Fast Access Blockchain