The travel industry, one of the largest contributors to the global economy with an astounding $5.81 trillion in 2022, has been presented with a game-changing gift – its very own blockchain network, courtesy of Swiss startup Chain4Travel. Known as Camino Network, this blockchain promises to be a catalyst for the sector’s digital transformation, targeting the industry’s penchant for decades-old proprietary technology platforms, which has stifled innovation.
An advanced platform for decentralized Web3-enabled applications, Camino Network aims to enable more efficient, peer-to-peer payments and collaborations. With countless prospective applications in the travel industry, such as secure and efficient hotel bookings, flights, car rentals, and passport storage, blockchain technology could revolutionize the sector. It is anticipated that blockchain adoption will result in personalized travel itineraries and activities, whilst also negating the need for intermediaries like travel agents.
The potential for blockchain in the travel industry has garnered support from over 120 major travel brands, including Lufthansa, Eurowings, Hahn Air, TUI, DER Touristik, and Sunnycars. Their backing highlights the advantages of having a dedicated blockchain, which stands in contrast to a global network like Ethereum, known for high gas fees and slower transactions. With Camino Network, brands will be able to leverage a purpose-built infrastructure capable of scaling alongside their growth. This network also allows participants to control it through equal validator voting rights.
Having operated in testnet since the second quarter of the previous year, Camino Network has undergone full code and smart contract audits by Hexens, and a bug bounty program has been enacted. More than 80 travel industry brands have agreed to validate the network, with each staking 100,000 CAM for the opportunity.
In its soft launch, an initial group of validators will test and validate the network before the remaining participants are onboarded in a process that should be finalized within a month. This presents an exciting new chapter for the travel industry, which will benefit considerably from this tailored blockchain solution. Embracing Web3-enabled applications built on Camino Network could unlock new business models, such as shared rental cars and vacation homes, or improve baggage handling, among other opportunities.
However, some questions remain: Will Camino Network be able to maintain its overall reliability as more companies adopt it? Will the travel industry embrace this emerging technology to its fullest or continue to hold onto aging systems, hindering true progress? Time will reveal just how dedicated the travel sector is to blockchain technology, and whether these innovations can result in a more efficient, profitable, and future-proof industry.