Thursday, November 30, 2023

While the travel sector is widely recognized to be ripe for digital transformation, Pablo Castillo, Chief Technology Officer of Chain4travel—a blockchain-oriented travel company—opines that aviation is the prime candidate for blockchain innovation. Supporting this claim, Castillo, who formerly served as the Group CIO of Hotelplan Group, cites the aviation industry’s antiquated technological systems and the absence of uniform data standards.

Pablo Castillo Discusses Blockchain’s Role in Travel

In responses submitted to News, Castillo contends that blockchain technology could mitigate the prevalent issue of fragmentation within the travel industry. Additionally, the technology may facilitate “uninterrupted operations throughout the sector.” However, Castillo insists that the degree to which blockchain can streamline operations in the travel sector will be largely determined by its technology-neutral, or agnostic, nature.

In a query about the necessity for a specialized layer 1 blockchain for the travel industry, Castillo highlights the industry’s cyclical nature. He asserts that the fluctuating fees of existing layer 1 blockchains could prove “economically disadvantageous during peak booking times.”

In subsequent correspondence with News via Telegram, the CTO of Chain4travel also addressed the potential of blockchain to preempt security lapses like the 2018 data breach at Marriott Hotels.

Questions and Answers with Pablo Castillo News (BCN): What key challenges can be addressed by blockchain technology across the diverse players in the travel industry?

Pablo Castillo (PC): The travel ecosystem is expansive, encompassing a range of travel verticals such as airlines, airports, car rentals, hospitality, and cruises, to name a few. The technology-neutral characteristic of blockchain renders it an excellent foundation for this global sector. Notably, the aviation industry stands out as the most suitable area for blockchain-enabled innovation.

Aviation is a multifaceted field with a multitude of stakeholders. The sector is burdened with archaic technology frameworks and a dire need for modern solutions. These issues range from a lack of uniform data standards to protracted payment settlement timelines, often stretching up to 12 months. The ability of blockchain to offer solutions like transparent data standards and seamless payment processes underlines its transformative potential.

BCN: Why do some stakeholders argue for a travel-specific layer 1 blockchain despite the availability of various generic layer 1 blockchains?

PC: Camino Network, envisioned as a Layer 1 blockchain tailored for the travel sector, is grounded in specific industry challenges and needs. The fluctuating fees associated with existing blockchains could prove costly during periods of high network traffic, which are common in the seasonal travel industry. Hence, Camino Network features a fixed gas fee structure, adjustable only through a voting mechanism exclusively accessible to network validators. This approach offers predictable transaction costs and enhances network stability.

BCN: How can blockchain technology ameliorate the existing fragmentation in the travel industry?

PC: The travel industry backend is remarkably complex, featuring numerous APIs across a multitude of service providers and customer interfaces. Blockchain’s technology-neutral nature is key to reducing this fragmentation by enabling global data standards and shared connectivity among platforms.

BCN: What verification processes are in place for B2B participants on the Camino Network?

PC: Both Know Your Customer (KYC) and Know Your Business (KYB) verifications are carried out through a third-party service. Before deploying any smart contracts, the deploying address must undergo successful KYC or KYB verification.

BCN: Can blockchain technology enhance data privacy and security in the travel industry?

PC: Security is a paramount concern for Camino Network. We are in the process of developing a decentralized, encrypted travel messenger aimed at bolstering data privacy and security. This tool will facilitate secure and encrypted information exchange between all involved parties.

Please share your insights on this interview in the comments section below.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Blockchain in Travel Industry

What is the primary focus of the interview with Pablo Castillo, the CTO of Chain4travel?

The primary focus of the interview is to explore how blockchain technology can innovate and streamline the travel industry, particularly the aviation sector. Castillo argues that the agnostic nature of blockchain technology makes it an ideal foundation for the entire travel industry.

Why does Pablo Castillo believe the aviation sector is ripe for blockchain innovation?

Pablo Castillo contends that the aviation sector has outdated technological infrastructures and lacks standardized data. He believes that blockchain technology could offer solutions to these longstanding issues by providing a framework for transparent and immutable data standards, among other benefits.

What problem does blockchain technology solve in the travel industry, according to Castillo?

According to Castillo, blockchain technology can reduce the fragmentation in the travel industry and bring seamless operations across various sectors. It can standardize data, expedite payment processes, and introduce blockchain-based loyalty programs that are more efficient than current models.

Why does Castillo advocate for a travel industry-specific layer 1 blockchain?

Castillo argues that the travel industry has its own set of unique challenges and needs that are not met by existing generic blockchains. He highlights the seasonal nature of the industry and mentions that most layer 1 blockchains have variable gas fees, which can be financially detrimental during high booking periods.

How does Chain4travel plan to ensure data security and privacy?

Chain4travel is in the process of developing a decentralized, encrypted travel messenger aimed at enhancing privacy and data security. The product is still in the MVP (Minimum Viable Product) phase and aims to provide a new level of secure connectivity among network participants.

What is the role of Know Your Customer (KYC) and Know Your Business (KYB) in the Camino Network?

Both KYC and KYB verifications are performed through a third-party provider in the Camino Network. Before deploying smart contracts, the deploying address must be successfully KYC or KYB verified. This level of verification aims to ensure the safety and trustworthiness of participants on the network.

How does blockchain technology address the issue of fragmentation in the travel industry?

Blockchain technology, through its agnostic nature, can reduce fragmentation by introducing global data standards and shared connectivity. It allows various sectors in the travel industry to interact seamlessly, leading to a more unified and efficient user experience.

Can blockchain technology enhance data security in the travel industry?

Yes, according to Castillo, blockchain technology can significantly improve data security. He cited the development of a decentralized, encrypted travel messenger that aims to provide a new level of secure and private communication among network participants.

More about Blockchain in Travel Industry

  • Chain4travel Official Website
  • News Website
  • The Marriott Data Breach of 2018
  • Layer 1 Blockchain Explanation
  • Know Your Customer (KYC) and Know Your Business (KYB) Guidelines
  • Digital Transformation in the Aviation Sector
  • Blockchain-Based Loyalty Programs in Travel Industry
  • Understanding Blockchain’s Agnostic Nature


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