The word “blockchain” has been floating around industry conferences and technology suppliers press releases for a few years now, but few hotel operators understand what the technology is, how it can be used or why they ought to even care. Blockchain has been heralded as the second coming in some domains such as the world of cryptocurrency and while its uses may not seem readily apparent today the technology already is impacting travel. Over the past decade, the booking and reservations industry for travel and hospitality has migrated online. The internet has revolutionized the way in which people travel, with instant price comparison websites, cheap web-based airlines and shared accommodation apps like Airbnb. Blockchain technology is that the next logical step in the movement far away from pricey, centralized management and into an entirely self-managed, autonomous tourism ecosystem.
Potential Use Cases in Hospitality
Distribution There are many disparate private databases in travel distribution that must be incrementally and endlessly synced in close to real time. Property management systems, central reservation systems and others serve as a first stop for all property-level data. If availability and rate information was available in a public data source such as a blockchain, suppliers would be able to quickly and easily update information. Consumer-facing sales outlets would be able to access it with full confidence in its accuracy, without the use of redundant intermediaries. Fees for technology services underpinning the travel industry would decrease, enabling more inventory online, at lower costs to hotels. Hotels and their distributors are challenged to keep descriptive content up-to-date. Text descriptions, photos, videos, and other content are constantly updated by hotels as they refurbish, rebrand or open new facilities. A blockchain could provide a unified location where all hotels could register and/or store their rich content.
Payments for Bookings The idea of using blockchain for payment is very natural. Blockchain was initially introduced within the financial world with Bitcoin. Other blockchains are gaining traction among banks for international currency settlement. Payments are an important aspect of travel distribution as well and certain kinds of transactions may lend themselves to blockchain solutions. Using a blockchain cryptocurrency for settlement instead of a credit card could (for the cost of a blockchain transaction) eliminate the credit card fee in cases where (a) the buyer can reasonably be expected to have, or to acquire, the cryptocurrency; and (b) where the consumer protections are not very useful.
Coordination across Multiple Suppliers Travelers often reserve a hotel stay, an airline flight and ground transportation in a single transaction. Smart contracts could handle payments and commissions to each and could also enable coordination during the trip. For example, if the traveler does not check-in for the flight, the hotel and rental car supplier could know that and take appropriate action, such as releasing inventory for sale to someone else.
Innovation Through Apps Blockchain technology could rapidly increase the pace of innovation in travel technology, through the use of open APIs. A new application would no longer need to separately contract with dozens to hundreds of companies, each with their own private databases of availability, rates, tours, content, etc., just to assess the feasibility and potential demand for the new service. By lowering the barriers to entry in this way, new services can come to the market faster than today
Blockchain as a technology has immense possibilities in the hospitality industry. This technology is constantly evolving and I expect integration and interoperability standards to emerge soon as the ecosystem matures. As a lot of enterprises embrace the technology, I expect to see the emergence of larger Blockchain networks and formations of widespread consortiums. Eventually, this landscape can get saturated enough to realize the crucial mass that successively can fuel current innovations for years to come back.
Blockchain has attracted the attention of the power industry with its potential to unleash an energy revolution in which both utilities and consumers will produce and sell electricity. The smart home appliances connected to an energy trading platform might endlessly explore for the top offer and mechanically alternate to a brand new energy supplier through a smart contract. This expertise can permit the shoppers to move from their home or workplace on to energy sellers. Blockchain might provide a reliable, low-cost way for financial or operational transactions to be recorded and validated across a distributed network with no central point of authority. Similarly, the “prosumers” can sell their surplus energy to other customers in the network directly through contracts established and validated through Blockchain. Blockchain is a foundational technology that can be used to create new business models and underpin business, economic and social infrastructure. While many Blockchain use cases have been proposed for the energy consumption industry, the one gaining the most traction at present is peer-to-peer (P2P) power trading, where owners of small-scale generation will sell excess generation straight to other consumers. Today, centralized management of distributed energy resources (DER) restricts to whom and once DER owners will sell their energy consumption back to the grid.
A Blockchain-enabled P2P model allows much greater flexibility and could be a powerful enabler for a customer-centric transactive energy consumption regime. To support the development of Blockchain-based solutions for the energy sector, a lot of organizations are setting-up Blockchain Labs with the aim of accelerating new Blockchain applications such as distributed ledger solutions and its use-cases. If the new applications are successful for mass adoption, it would have profound impacts on the business models of the entire energy sector value chain.
Peer-to-peer power trade
With the potential for a decentralized model based on blockchain to reduce transaction costs, smaller electricity producers could sell excess renewable energy to other network participants, thus, in theory, bringing down prices through increasing the competition and grid efficiency. Trusted third parties, such as retailers, may play a much smaller role in a distributed P2P model and smart contracts will automate processes that previously required manual work and multiple parties. With smart contracts, trades can be made automatically using price signals and real-time renewable energy production data throughout the network.
Grid management and system operation
Blockchain technology allows electricity networks to be more easily controlled, as smart contracts would signal to the system when to initiate specific transactions. This would be based on predefined rules created by the platform, designed to ensure that all power and storage flows are controlled automatically to balance supply and demand. For example, whenever more variable renewable energy is generated than needed, smart contracts could be used to ensure that excess electricity is diverted into storage automatically. Conversely, the electricity held in storage could be deployed for use whenever the generated power output is insufficient. In this way, blockchain technology could directly control network flows and flexibility options, avoiding curtailment of solar and wind energy.
Blockchain systems are fully decentralized, with all transactions being arranged, executed and performed on a peer-to-peer basis. This is what makes blockchain technology potentially disruptive. The possible energy use cases of blockchain technology show a lot of promise. In addition to reducing transaction costs across the system, increasing the efficiency of processes and thus delivering cost benefits for customers, the technology can enable direct interactions between all parties involved. This ensures that existing generation’s capacity is utilized optimally, whilst energy is made available at the best price.
It has been found that identity theft cost consumed an enormous amount in the last few years. This is despite all financial institutions and bodies giving alarms and alerts to the consumers who could not avoid this theft. This resulted in organizations asking for information and data from individuals to avert identity theft. This resulted in the loss of control of individuals over their personal individual information. Blockchain technology can remove this menace by creating a future where individuals can hold their privacy without risking identity theft. So, here has to be a solution, right? We tell you about all possible web identity thefts and also how can you protect yourself from such frauds. Keep reading!
Birth of identity theft It is to be noted that claim, proof, and assertion are required for asserting an individual’s identity. A claim is a statement made by an individual or entity. In order to establish an identity claim, an individual requires a form of proof like an ID. Further, if an additional validity is required, a third party can assert this claim by cross-referencing their records. This form of data is, however, unstructured. It is further to be noted that proofs are usually given in the form of images or photocopies and can easily be stolen.
Sovereign identity Blockchain ensures that an individual retains greater security regarding their individual personal information without losing their privacy and incurring additional expenses and fees. It is to be noted that distributed ledger containing everyone’s identity distributes trust from a single central point towards the whole system. Thus, the personal information is kept under individual control.
Avoiding Synthetic identity theft
In case of Synthetic identity theft, where individual leverage pieces of fictional and real personal information to fabricate an entirely new identity, is the reason for the new account origination fraud that banks regularly have to deal with. In assuming these false identities, fraudsters can open, use, and reap benefits from savings and checking accounts, loans or credit cards before banks can detect or be alerted of their duplicity. This often leaves legitimate names with credit card debt, defaulted or credit score hits attached to them.
Averting Card fraud This is the most common and rampant of fraud since the issuance of present-day cards having CVV number. Now individuals who have stolen a credit card number, expiration date and maybe even a CVV number can utilize the wide web of e-commerce masquerading as that cardholder, doing online transaction at will, no ID checks required.
Prevention of Tax ID fraud
During tax season, there’s always a looming threat that fraudsters could intercept, file someone else’s taxes, have the return sent to them, deposit it into an account (potentially even a fraudulently opened one) and withdraw the funds before the original taxpayer even sits down to address their annual filing. If the official was able to lean on a blockchain-based digital identity, which would likely include employer and payment details, the identity of the person filing could be verified upfront and yearly tax returns could be made a part of identity attributes backed by the immutable blockchain. All of us just agree to whatever are the terms and conditions that are required to get that ‘free’ service. In exchange, we are giving away our phone numbers, location, credit card numbers and what not! We do not like to enter our credit card number over and over again so we save it to check out faster.
Conclusion It is desired to leverage this platform to emphasize on the blockchain technology. Blockchain-enabled identity management not only gives us the ownership of our data but also keeps it very secured. This makes us a sovereign individual. Blockchain technology makes it extremely difficult for fraudsters to gain data illegally.
Blockchain can influence our daily life, it becomes important that it is able to connect to various business application systems like enterprise resource planning (ERP), customer relationship management (CRM), warehouse management system (WMS), manufacturing execution systems (MES), etc. Only then can it change the thought client to attain business success through blockchain. As these systems build, track, purchase, and ship products, integrating with blockchain will provide a copy of this information into the network which is immutable and indelible and can be tracked and used for reference any time, for any purpose. As the ERP systems generate financial transactions, integrating with blockchain will help make these financial transactions transparent and reliable. Integration with ERP, WMS and MES systems will reduce disputes over invoices, shipments, returns, and purchases.
The profit in the desegregation of ERP with blockchain is twofold. Firstly, it will bring in transparency, and secondly, it can reduce the cost of tracking and reporting which is significant, considering multi-echelon and multi-staged supply chains. The enterprise-ready blockchain capabilities ought to address the business processes thus on facilitate them get into the blockchain network. Research and efforts have already begun to connect the ERP with the blockchain network.
Finlync’s distributed ledger division. It is considered the world’s first blockchain-agnostic integrator for ERP systems. Finlync has developed a seamless plug-and-play integration for SAP, Ethereum and Hyperledger blockchains, and more to follow suit. Skye, a Norway-based company, has more versatile products to offer. It has developed integrations of SAP with different blockchains giving integration services in finance, HR, and supply chain.
There are three main potential growth areas in the supply chain domain. First is the advent of middleware technologies which can connect the ERP systems with different blockchain networks, second is the identification and development of use cases in the supply chain which might have the benefit of the blockchain network, and third is the blockchain as a service (BaaS). There are already some companies that have developed middleware, and are further improving on it. Let’s take the case of Microsoft’s Project Bletchley. This is an open supply framework to permit integration of blockchain networks with several applications. It focuses on security and governance requirements and, therefore, includes features such as a gateway or identity, key, and crypto services to allow non-blockchain clients to communicate with the blockchain network. Interledger is a lightweight blockchain protocol and integration framework to connect different blockchains and other interfaces, such as banks, PayPal, or Skype. Even established middleware vendors like Software AG or TIBCO Software are helping integrate and correlate blockchain events with the rest of the enterprise’s design. Another use case in the supply chain is that the procurement information like purchase order (PO) and purchase agreements, which are held in the ERP system, can be registered in digital formats in a blockchain. These digital assets can be available only to members with the private keys, and can be referred, thus removing the need for physical movement through email, mail, or fax. It will be completely transparent and public with sensitive information being accessed only by members with private keys.
Blockchain with enterprise resource planning (ERP) and blockchain as a service (BaaS) are areas which are developing very rapidly and are opening up big opportunities. It will simply be terminated that tons of analysis have already been done on blockchain with versatile applications. However, the field is still wide open. The development of blockchain from the bitcoin network is examined with a detailed study of protocols for validation and address hashing in a distributed network with the publicly available information, thus making the information unhackable, which is the linchpin of transparency and authenticity.
Blockchain is primarily a record or ledger of preferably digital events and are shared or distributed among various different parties. These can be updated but can never be erased. All the contents are verifiable. Blockchain further helps reduce administrative expenses through automated verification of claims and payments’ data from third parties. Insurtech companies can quickly view past claims transactions logged and registered on Blockchain for easy reference.
Pain points of traditional insurance system
The present-day insurance system has many weaklings and pain centres namely:-
Not very efficient exchange of data and information
Susceptible to fraud
Intricate liability of assessment for reinvestment.
Indulgence of middlemen
Fragmented data and resources
Review and processing of all claims
Technologies are rapidly changing every aspect of our life, including how we live, work and engage. Insurtech is having a similar impact on the insurance industry of the world all over. When supported by a conducive ecosystem, insurtech holds great promise to enhance customer experience, reduce claims response time, provide data-driven insights and support both customers and insurers to make informed decisions
The cryptocurrency like Bitcoin has become very popular and is used as a digital currency by a majority of people since its inception. The potential it is said to have — to completely override the conventional roles of centralized instances — has by now been applied to a number of projects across a huge range of industries including the insurtech industry. As we understand Blockchain technology, its effects and its potential are now very clear to us. The most important advantages briefly summarised:
Its decentralized consensus-based structure guarantees all participants in a Blockchain high integrity of data from the moment it is stored. Changes and deletions are not possible without another consensus. This creates trust based on a technological protocol rather than through a middleman.
The high integrity of a Blockchain enables shared and reliable data storage across multiple parties. This leads to the omission of isolated silos as well as the storage and synchronization of redundant data which are required for those.
Middlemen and the synchronization of data between different silos mean a cost-intensive work effort. By removing middlemen and manual processes, a lot of these costs can be saved.
While a middleman’s database for example, is under the central authority and thus can be centrally manipulated, a Blockchain requires a large part of the network to be undermined in order to achieve a manipulation. That way Blockchain’s protection against manipulations grows with the size of the network which is different from most other technologies.
Blockchain technology deliberately sacrifices computing power and thus transaction volume in order to enable a decentralized, protocol-based data integrity in the first place. This is also reflected in its enormous energy consumption which is rooted in the elaborate cryptographic algorithms that ensure the integrity of the Blockchain. Now that the technological foundation has been laid new ways must be found which will increase the performance without jeopardizing the integrity gained so far. Like any young technology, Blockchain is not yet free of risks and there are still some key challenges to overcome. In spite of a few shortfalls Blockchain has revolutionized the insurance sector.
Blockchain has the ability to revolutionize how business is conducted. In the promoting and the outdoor advertising world, blockchain can have direct implications on reducing ad fraud and increasing the efficiency of ad spends.
Digital out-of-home (DOOH) and location-based advertising
The out of home business is experiencing somewhat of a mini-revolution. The premiership of static and traditional banners is currently not enough to draw in a loyal and long shopper base. In an increasingly digital and internet orientated world brands are preparing to take the next step in order to create not only noticeable but receptive, engaging and influential outdoor advertising strategies. Regardless of what you’ll have already detected concerning it, one thing is for certain – blockchain has the potential to transform the digital outdoor advertising landscape. Blockchain will modify a complete to achieve an enormous information insight into their client demographic by facilitating and inspiring customers to interact with their digital location-based advertisements (e.g. taking an image and sharing it on their social profiles) reciprocally for a client reward – a method referred to as tokenization. Leveraging location-based information will build an enormous big impact for the digital out of home advertising. Fundamentally, allowing brands to tailor their campaigns to a specific audience, at a specific time and with a specific purpose really makes a difference.
Out-of-home advertising offers a complete and safe setting, with unparalleled viewability. Unless something is physically blocking the screen, all ads are 100 percent viewable. What percentage of digital display ad inventory can honestly make such a bold promise? What’s additional, a Nielsen study showed that OOH provides the best rate of online activation per dollar of any offline media. Add data feeds, video and programmatic capabilities to the mix and digital out-of-home is an unbeatable offering.
Impact on Digital Content
The blockchain considerably affects the method during which media corporations organize their personnel and payment schemes, e.g. articles posted on a news website could be directly linked to their respective authors. This way, profit-sharing could permit the featuring of articles not just by well-known columnists, but equally ones by freelancers. Micro-payments permit new print media pricing models that can attract new customer segments who are reluctant to purchase relatively expensive subscriptions for access to a broad range of content. Instead, a blockchain-enabled online news web site may charge scanners for its articles by the article – for a low worth of solely a number of cents per read. This way, ad-free content can be offered to users who are sensitive about advertising and prefer to pay a small amount of money instead.
In a nutshell, blockchain’s potential benefits for the media industry primarily relate to payment transactions and copyright tracking. Possible applications and technical innovations can have a so much reaching impact: content creators could also be ready to keep a detailed track of their playtimes, royalties and advertising revenues could be shared in a particular and timely manner supported consumption and low-value content might be purchased with efficiency, though priced at mere fractions of cents. Media players need to consider blockchain-based applications and their potential impact on the whole industry: micropayment-based pricing options for paid content, a shift of market power caused by content bypassing aggregators and an improved distribution of royalty payments, to name just a few.