As part of the Blockchain for Finance Conference in Dublin’s Aviva Stadium, the IFSC’s Dogpatch Labs hosted a pre-conference session. The fourth and final pitch of the evening was given by Travacoin Founder & CEO Brian Whelan who talked about their platform for dealing with compensation in the aviation sector.
The basic problem the platform aims to solve is around compensation by airlines to consumers affected by delays or cancellations. The pitch started off with a video, and then was somewhat freeform and fairly rapid fire. The principle is that airlines would buy travacoins, and in the event of a disruption, these coins could be issued quickly to passengers. They could then in turn spend these with participating food outlets, to be redeemed against flights or hotels, or held to be traded.
With 4.5% of flights delayed, the Montreal Convention outlining that airlines are obliged to pay for refreshments, reschedule or refund flights, and look after accomodation for passengers who are put out by delays or flight cancellations. In the event of a long delay under EU261 between €200 & €600 compensation is available to passengers.
Going through the process end to end, an airline would purchase travacoins, which would be converted into tokens. The travacoins are then distributed to passengers in the event of a flight cancellation. While the talk was very short and light on detail, a couple of questions arose from the crowd watching. Firstly, how would people get the wallet? Would they have to set up an ethereum wallet when buying a ticket, which is a substantial barrier to entry. There wasn’t really an answer to this during the talk. Next up was how could passengers spend tokens in the retailers, would they need to upgrade their web or point of sale to accept tokens? This wasn’t really answered during the talk either.
However, Brian went on to talk about the business model, which is based on savings for airlines, which currently run approximately €50/claim, and takes between 3-6 months to get a claim back. When asked where the platform is at, he said that they’re currently fundraising, building their management team and have built and secured their IT platform, and are currently focused on building partnerships with airlines. Their MVP allows people to create an ID, build a wallet, create smart contracts, purchase and distribute tokens.
As the last talk of the evening, things wrapped up quite abruptly with a couple of unanswered questions. However, if you’re interested in finding out more, you can visit Travacoin.com