Blockchain-based booking platform LockChain.co has announced the Alpha release of its marketplace. The version kicks off with around 600 completely integrated listings already in place. In addition, hosts can list their properties for free and travelers can book accommodations without any commissions. By the end of February 2018, the platform will feature 100,000 hotels, providing accommodation options worldwide.
Nikola Alexandrov, the CEO of LockChain.co, explains the impetus behind the project:
Booking.com and Airbnb.com charge on average 20% from each booking that is made through their platform. Our plan is to utilize advanced blockchain technology and to cut out any commissions. It is the right of the host to receive the full amount of the money for the investment that they are making, and it is certainly the right of the traveler to be able to pay directly to hosts for their travel experience.
LockChain.co is David to Booking.com and Airbnb’s Goliath. Their innovative booking platform eliminates commissions altogether and directly links clients to hosts through the unique blockchain-based LOC travel engine. The engine utilizes smart contracts to process bookings, which will provide a free-to-use trustless environment that protects both clients and hosts.
Any hotel or short-term rental host can register and list their properties on the LockChain marketplace free of charge and secure in the knowledge that they will receive 100% of their revenues.
Some commissions with currently established travel providers can reach as high as 50%, which is unfair. Nobody wants to pay that kind of money to someone who is just a middleman and does not add value to the actual travel experience. Accommodation sector is in a bad need of transparency.
Taking a Look at the LockChain.co Platform
Below is the list of some of the major features present in Alpha version.
- Personal LOC/ETH wallet linking to profile
- Real-time multi-currency (GBP, USD, EUR) support via API connectivity
- HTML5 Mobile Responsive design via React JS *
- Integration with 600+ bookable properties with 100,000 more to be added by February 2018
*Please note that this is just the Alpha release and that there is still some fine-tuning to be done. Don’t worry if you see a few UX flaws in the mobile version. The team is aware of them and is working to correct them.
- Dynamic property search with real-time availability and pricing check;
- Search properties by country based on available inventory – this will be replaced with a city-based search with autocomplete for city specific searches;
- Dynamic calculation of LOC conversion rate to other crypto and fiat currencies through the averaged LOC price as calculated via the Coinmarketcap API – properties are priced by hosts in fiat, and the price shown in LOC is automatically adjusted to current LOC rate, so that it will always match the fiat equivalent at the time of booking;
- When a traveler initiates a booking request, the host will get a notification with the details of the booking, being able to initiate communication and change status to “Cancelled” or “Completed” upon verifying payment;
- LOC payment instructions are delivered to the traveler via email upon initiation of a booking request;
- Property calendar with availability and rates – browse up to 90 days ahead and see the specific rates a property has, to choose the best possible rates if you have a flexible travel window ahead;
- Fully functional login/dashboard interfaces for both travelers and hosts to manage their bookings and trips.
LockChain.co already has approximately 600 properties that are already integrated into the platform and their prices are about 18% lower compared to Airbnb. By February 2018, LockChain is expected to expand its inventory to 100,000 hotels, thanks to major strategic partnerships signed in December 2017.
LockChain Token Sale Recap
In November 2017, LockChain successfully completed its LOC token sale, raising a total of 10,500 ETH ($ 10.8 million based on current market price) from around 4,500 individual contributors.
Looking ahead to the future, Nikola Alexandrov says:
2018 will be all about delivery and actual service adoption/utilization. Many ICOs will fail because of the lack of immediate validation on their product which could be dangerous if it is combined with too much hype. I believe we have a sound approach in this regard since we aimed for a small ICO, and a solid practical business approach with immediate validation. If there is value in the market cap, it should be the result of a product and not of the FOMO effect. Tempted from high market caps, ICOs tend to create huge supply in tokens, which further puts those projects into danger as it artificially inflates their market caps.
LOC has a supply of only 9.25M circulating tokens from a total of 18.5M LOC issued. Currently, the token is traded on HitBTC, Etherdelta, Gatecoin, and Mercatox exchanges, and has experienced a 600% increase in value for those who participated in LockChain.co token sale. Even so, according to Coinmarketcap, LOC Token has a market capitalization of only 20M which definitely makes it an interesting pick.
Do you think that LockChain will give Booking.com and Airbnb a run for their money? How likely are you to use a blockchain-based booking platform like LockChain? Let us know in the comments below.
Images courtesy of LockChain.co