A few years ago, blockchain promised to revolutionize industries, and to bring more transparency across the most different sectors; however, it did not happen the way imagined.
Even though the conversation started with bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies, blockchain can actually be used to trade/exchange all sorts of documents and information around the world – within people/entities that belong to the same “block.”
Understanding the utility and agility of the system, the travel industry has not given up on blockchain yet, and is currently trying to find ways to apply the technology to ease conflicts, to improve loyalty programs, and even to increase security at airport checkpoints.
At the JetBlue Technology Ventures Blockchain in Travel Summit, on March 20, airline and technology experts discussed the future of the technology as a possible solution in travel. Sikina Hasham, a program manager at U.S. Customs and Border Protection, said that “one area we’ve seen a significant amount of success in is facial comparison and biometric data… There is a service we’ve created to verify who an individual boarding an aircraft is as they’re seeking admission into the United States. If we could have more data for the verification from another government party, that would be really great for us.”
Although a promising opportunity to streamline the process of securely sharing data, the technology still lacks standardized communication methods between organizations.
Hasham also said that “blockchain is relatively new for us, we have trialed some blockchain technology in the trade space… in the travel space, we are still working on figuring out how industry stakeholders in the technology space will help us get a better sense of [the uses of blockchain]… privacy and decentralized information are some of the challenges we as a government organization have a legal obligation to protect.”
Investors and other experts in the field still see the promise in blockchain as a technology solution for the security and travel industry.
Source: skift.com, “U.S. Customs Wants to Use Blockchain for Travel Security Measures” by Andrew Sheivachman. Mar 21, 2019