Airlines transferring funds via blockchain? Turns out this is not a far-fetched, future vision. It is reality today thanks to a cryptocurrency known as the IATA Coin.
A major airline commits to blockchain as a distribution avenue. That’s the story being spun about Air Canada’s deal with Winding Tree. And, to some extent it is accurate. But one key point remains relatively muted in the reporting: Air Canada really is not doing anything with blockchain.
“Tokenized cryptorewards” and other buzzwords flew around the room at Loyalty Live in Chicago last week. Fortunately the hype was (eventually) countered by a bit of loyalty program reality. Blockchain will not save or even truly transform loyalty programs. But it has a role and we were fortunate to discuss that for 20 minutes on stage.
Are frequent flyer “cryptomiles” the next big thing? Sadly, you’re likely to hear a lot about that in the coming years, including today’s announcement from Singapore Airlines. Alas, it is mostly buzzword bullshit.