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Blockchain to Make Paperless Travel a Reality

Blockchain to Make Paperless Travel a Reality (1)

Traveling across countries just became a whole lot easier with the introduction of the pilot program called the Known Traveler Digital Identity (KTDI).  This gives travelers the facility of paperless travel with their data being stored in a chip which is made secure by encryption. The encrypted data will be stored in the digital wallet of the user. This program for paper-free travel was launched by the governments of Canada and the Netherlands. Linux’s Hyperledger Indy, a distributed ledger has been used for the decentralized identity data storage of users. The KTDI through the first global collaboration of its kind will enable associated partners to ensure credibility through the authorization of passenger’s identity data.

KTDI is an initiative aimed to provide the travel industry with a secure and seamless travel. The program allows travelers to manage all components of their identity data and share the same voluntarily which can then be attested by the border agencies. The passenger has the right to decide what part of the information has to be shared and what not.  A piece of authorized and reliable information will be shared with the security agencies before the travelers even reach to ensure a hassle-free flight. This will, in turn, eliminate potential risks and improve the overall efficiency of the industry by focusing only on higher risk concerns.

Managing director and global blockchain lead at Accenture, David Treat, said:

“We’re all wildly frustrated by data hacks, data breaches, our identities being stolen — and that’s largely a result of where our identity data is stored today. The excitement around digital identity underpinned by blockchain and biometrics is that there is now a solution pattern crystallizing where users can be in control of their own data. They can decide with whom they want to share it, and for how long, and revoke that access at a later point.”

The significance of this lies in its decentralized identity, as KTDI  is based on the underlying technology of digital assets, blockchain.

Role of Blockchain

According to the website, Blockchain will be used to supply, revoke and verify the passengers’ credentials, thereby eliminating centralized intermediaries. It will also be used to record public identifiers which will be written to the ledger to link passengers with the respective authorities and get attestations. The attestations will be signed with the issuer’s public key.  When the airlines receive the attestation from the passenger, validation will be implemented by looking up the public identifier on the ledger.

As reported earlier, Air Canada collaborated with blockchain-based Winding Tree to establish a platform for travel agents to arrange flights by removing intermediaries. With the increase in passengers by the day, it has become very essential to contain the industry with suitable infrastructure to accommodate the growth while ensuring security. Emerging technologies such as blockchain play an upper hand in such scenarios to provide quality services and this, in turn, attracts more tech-savvy customers. is committed to unbiased news and upholding journalistic codes of ethics. For more information please read our Editorial Policy here.

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Air Canada and Winding Tree Combine to Boost Blockchain Air Travel Options

Air Canada has become yet another airline along with Air France, KLM, and Lufthansa to partner with the blockchain-based travel distribution platform Winding Tree.

Winding Tree has created an open blockchain-based marketplace where travel agents can arrange flights while also setting their own commission rates. The company boasts of enabling agents to remove intermediaries that currently charge excessive fees and act as gatekeepers.

Along with flights, travel agents using the blockchain service can also offer a range of ancillary services to travelers based on their past travel preferences. Air Canada has commented that this will open up greater competition in the market and encourage further innovation in the air travel sector. Keith Wallis, Director of Global Product Distribution for Air Canada, commented that such projects which integrate blockchain solutions are “giving blockchain-savvy users the ability to access our content directly from the source.” He added:

“As Canada’s largest airline and a global leader in innovative airline distribution solutions, Air Canada recognizes the importance of leveraging this next generation technology.”

Winding Tree suggests that it puts suppliers, sellers and travellers in control of their own data, determining who sees their inventories, and by opening up their platform allows entrepreneurs to experiment with new business models in a safe and secure way. Pedro Anderson, Founder and Chief Operating Officer of Winding Tree says that by becoming the first North American airline to work with, the Winding Tree public blockchain platform Air Canada “is showing itself to be a real leader in innovation,”

Payment transactions on the Winding Tree platform will utilize their Lif cryptocurrency token, although as yet Air Canada hasn’t confirmed if it plans to receive Lif payments as flights are organized through the platform. In the meantime, Winding Tree has said that it will be continuing to develop its programme of smart contracts for airline services with plans to launch its own mainnet towards the end of this year or possibly in 2019.

For many travellers though, blockchain tech is needed once flights are booked; the airport is a clear point of stress for many, having to endure endless ticketing and immigration queues, followed by baggage check-ins, then the sheep pens of passport and visa checks. Face recognition is beginning to be adopted, but inconsistently, and retinal scans and fingerprinting offering maximum security in this age of heightened terrorist activity, are rare to non-existent.

Decentralized digital identities remain the realm of fantasy movies such as Mission Impossible but in the real world,  travellers must make do with sagging outmoded systems. Airports are still way behind, when it comes to adopting these developing technologies.

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