A blockchain-based service for accommodation booking, LockChain.co, has officially announced the Alpha release of its marketplace. The version kicks off with around 600 completely integrated listings, possibility for hosts to list their properties for free, as well as travelers to book without any commissions. It will also feature 100,000 hotels by the end of February 2018, providing accommodation options worldwide.
“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,” stated LockChain.co CEO Nikola Alexandrov.
LockChain.co challenges giants such as Booking.com and Airbnb.com with its blockchain-based online travel booking application. The company eliminates commissions and directly links clients to hosts through the unique blockchain-based LOC travel engine. The engine will utilize smart contracts to process bookings, which will provide a free-to-use trustless environment that protects both clients and hosts.
Any short term rental host can register and list a property on the LockChain Marketplace completely free of charge and enjoy 0% commission on their revenue.
“Some commissions with current 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,” Alexandrov added.
Below is a list of some of the major features released in the 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 — (still some polishing to be done, so please don’t worry if you see minor UX flaws on your mobile devices).
- Integration with 600+ bookable properties.
Marketplace Storefront Features:
- Dynamic homes search with real time availability and pricing check, currently with a selector for countries based on available inventory, that will be switched to a city-based search with autocomplete for city specific searches.
- Dynamic calculation of LOC conversion rate to other crypto- and fiat currencies through averaged LOC price from 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 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.
In addition, there are fully functional login/dashboard interfaces for both travelers and hosts to manage their bookings and trips.
The company has around 600 properties that are already integrated and have about 18% lower prices when 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.
Earlier in November, Lockchain successfully finished its LOC token sale, raising a total of 10,500 ETH from around 4,500 individual contributors.
“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,” says CEO Nikola Alexandrov.
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.