LockChain.co, a blockchain service creating a decentralized solution and a marketplace for short-term rentals and hotel bookings has announced the marketplace is now released in alpha.
The alpha features nearly 600 integrated listings, an option to list a property with zero charges and to book rooms and premises without commissions. The company has stated that by the end of February 2018 the service will feature around 100,000 hotels around the globe.
The service introduces blockchain technology to a nearly $500bn accommodation industry and offers a decentralized alternative to companies like Booking.com and Airbnb. LockChain also features an application for end users that enables direct interaction between them and property owners. The fees and other hidden costs are eliminated from the equation thanks to the company’s proprietary LOC travel engine that employs smart contracts for booking processing in a completely trustless environment for free.
“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 CEO Nikola Alexandrov stated.
“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,” added Mr. Alexandrov.
The alpha release features the following options:
- Personal LOC/ETH wallet linking to profile.
- Real-time Multi-currency (GBP, USD , EUR) support via API connectivity.
- Integration with 600+ bookable properties
- Free Property listing for hosts – regardless of number of properties and revenue
- 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 cryptos 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.
The company has stated that the 600 properties that had been already integrated with the system offer on average 18% lower prices than those available via Airbnb. After the company has struck several major partnerships in late 2017, this inventory will include around 100,000 hotels around the world by the February.
LockChain has held a successful token sale in November 2017 raising 10,500 ETH from nearly 4,500 contributors for the platform’s native token of LOC. It has a limited supply of 18.5 million tokens with a half of them already in circulation. The token was listed by several exchanges, including HitBTC, Etherdelta, Mercatox, and Gatecoin.
After the token sale, the token’s price has grown by nearly 600%.