Founded by Peakwork CEO Ralf Usbeck, Chain4Travel is the facilitator of the Camino consortium blockchain and has more than 50 supporters from the travel industry. Travel companies can join the presale of the Camino token until Sept. 23.
Down the road, Camino will be operated and managed by travel industry partners. To enable this decentralized approach, Chain4Travel AG will transfer the entire intellectual property rights as well as the financial reserves to a dedicated foundation. The network will belong to participating travel companies and will be protected against possible takeovers.
What is your 30-second pitch to investors?
Imagine an environment where everyone could connect directly in a secure way – and use free-flowing data with the possibility of instant monetization. Based on the power of blockchain, we can make this a reality.
Chain4Travel’s Camino is a consortium blockchain built and governed by the travel industry, for the travel industry. This game-changing technology offers each network participant faster, safer and smarter trading of travel products on both B2B and B2C levels.
Such an approach fosters the identification and creation of new travel-related business models and the exploration of new ways to interact with travelers. We invite everyone in the worldwide travel industry to join this revolutionary approach.
Describe both the business and technology aspects of your
The goal is to build a blockchain-based ecosystem, providing
a stable and secure network for B2B and B2C leisure travel products.
Travel partners will be able to trade a variety of products
and services on the network, including hotel and room type mapping, health and
safety information, rental cars and even purchasing a cup of coffee on a flight.
Services and information will all be fed into the network and will be available
in the form of smart contracts. All network participants will be able to access
this valuable travel data in a standardized and secure way.
The technology aspects of Camino might be more complex. The
project is opensource, and the test net has been live since March. The main net
is scheduled to go live in October.
Participating service providers in the blockchain are
uniquely identified and networked via the Know Your Customer process,
significantly reducing the effort required in the negotiation phase of future
transactions. Participating companies will be able to rapidly complete
transactions with blockchain partners within seconds and at low transaction
At least 50 partners from the tourism industry will be the
first validators. Validators operate a node and check new events or
transactions that are stored in data blocks. The Camino blockchain uses
Proof-of-Stake and Authority (PoSA) in the validation process. Compared to Proof-of-Work
consensus algorithms (used by many public blockchains), PoSA significantly reduces
the computing power needed for a validation and increases the transaction speed.
Initially, the focus will be on B2B applications. For
consumers, it might not be immediately obvious that they are running on
For example, a voucher from the OTA to purchase a coffee on
a plane is created as a non-fungible token (NFT) and redeemed using a QR code.
During this process, the cost for the coffee is transferred from the wallet of
the OTA to the wallet of the airline issuing the coffee. To make this possible without
exchange-rate risk, Camino will have its own currency – CAM – as well as a
stablecoin that will be linked to either the U.S. dollar or the Euro.
In the future, Camino will be operated and managed by travel
industry partners. To enable this decentralized approach, Chain4Travel AG will
transfer the entire intellectual property rights as well as the financial
reserves to a dedicated foundation. The network will belong to participating travel
companies and will be protected against possible takeovers. The participating blockchain
node operators will manage the network via voting rights.
Give us your SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities,
Threats) analysis of the company.
Despite our early start-up phase, we already combine
impressive industry expertise as well as technical knowledge, coming from our
advisors and partners who support our team and vision. We are all eager to
define and develop this new global operating system for future travel trade.
The opportunities are immense. Our goal is not to replicate
existing processes but to set up the technical base for new trade approaches,
leveraging the level of service along the entire customer journey and enhancing
the satisfaction of the traveler.
Today’s travel industry is characterized by a multitude of
bilateral contracts and APIs (application programming interfaces), which leads
to significant reconciliation effort and reduction in speed and security. By using
blockchain as a technical base, data streams can be unified and communication
with other participants can be facilitated.
Our biggest challenge at the beginning is to convince the
travel industry to invest into blockchain know-how and projects. We all know
that there are far more pressing topics at the moment. But actively joining the
Camino blockchain and setting this up as one common travel trade network is a
fundamental investment in our future.
What are the travel pain points you are trying to alleviate
from both the customer and the industry perspective?
In the international travel industry, we deal with a huge
number of APIs connecting all the different partners and services.
Oligopolistic systems use different data standards, which causes loss of data
and single parameters. Seamless service chains are complex and expensive to
Trading services and information as NFTs reduces the initial
reconciliation effort, standardizes data exchange and enhances speed and
security. The technology makes it possible to exchange services and money in
the same logical second, even if several partners are involved.
So you’ve got the product, now how will you get lots of
Our first target group will be business partners worldwide
joining the network as users or even validators. Their applications will
ultimately attract the traveler.
We currently invite all interested travel companies to join
the presale of the Camino token until Sept. 23. We have already received a seed
investment of $4.5 million and are planning the ICO (initial coin offering) for
the end of the year, when anyone interested can buy CAM. Whether a specialist
tour operator, hotel or travel agency, everyone can join, develop and use applications
on the chain.
Chain4Travel already has more than 50 supporters from the
global tourism industry, including TUI CEO Friedrich Joussen, Eurowings CEO
Jens Bischof, Travel Ledger CEO Roberto Da Re and many more.
Tell us what process you’ve gone through to establish a
genuine need for your company and the size of the addressable market.
Before we announced our project, we talked to industry
contacts from all the participating sectors, including tour operators, OTAs,
airlines, hotel providers, travel agents, technology partners, wholesalers and
more. In addition, the Chain4Travel team and advisors have accumulated hundreds
of years of experience in the travel industry and have an eye on the current
status and innovations in the travel and technology business.
How and when will you make money?
We are currently in the presale process of the Camino token,
and the initial exchange offering (IEO) is planned later this year. All
partners and investors will benefit from the value increase of the token. Our
aim is to have the Camino blockchain operated and managed by the travel
Chain4Travel AG will transfer the entire IP rights as well
as the financial reserves to a dedicated foundation. The network will belong to
the participating travel companies and will be protected against possible
Travel partners on the blockchain, such as TUI, Lufthansa
Holidays, Eurowings, Giata, DER Touristik, Hotelplan, BD4, Orchestra, Travel
Ledger, Miles & More, Peakwork and many other established names in the
travel industry will generate value by offering services on the network and
organizing their trade processes more efficiently.
What are the backgrounds and previous achievements of the
Ralf Usbeck, CEO of Chain4Travel, is also CEO of Peakwork,
the leading provider of dynamic packaging solutions. Its player-hub technology
offers a marketplace for worldwide leisure travel sales. Customers of this
leading technology include international travel companies and global internet
giants such as Google, TUI, Lufthansa and more. In 2013, Ralf Usbeck received
an international award as “Serial Innovator of Travel Technology” at the World
Travel Market in London. He is also founder of tech company TravelTainment,
which he sold to Amadeus in 2006 as CEO of Amadeus Leisure Group.
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Thomas Stirnimann, COO of Chain4Travel, is chairman of the board
of directors, owner of Alpha Golf Travel AG and a member of the board of directors
of Hotelplan Holding AG. He was CEO of the Hotelplan Group for eight years through
2020. Prior to that, he was responsible for the Swiss, Scandinavian and Greek
markets at Kuoni Reisen Holding AG for more than 20 years. Stirnimann is also founder
of Edelweiss Airways.
Pablo Castillo, who was CIO and board member of the
Hotelplan Group from 2014 to 2021, is our CTO.
In addition, Chain4Travel AG can draw on decades of
experience in tourism, the digital market, the financial sector and the
blockchain sector through its advisors, including industry-recognized players
such as Norm Rose, David Henderson, Beat Blaser, James Carter, Andy Owen Jones,
Markus Pfau, Michele Ruberl, Christian Schuhegger, Ulrich Sieber, Jan Stenger
and Benjamin Usinger.
How have you addressed diversity and inclusion within your
We are building up a team across the globe to cater to our
partners across different continents and verticals in the global travel
industry. Our international remote-working colleagues bring in more than 20
cultures and nationalities. We are open to any bright mind thinking alike –
there are no exclusions. Of course, we act according to fair pay. We have a
solid women quota and our Head of Business Development Anke Hsu especially
supports female mentees and events especially addressed to female audiences.
What’s been the most difficult part of founding the business
We are facing two general challenges: First, we had to learn
about political regulations in different countries regarding the blockchain
business. In particular, this includes the anticipation of possible
restrictions in the future. Chain4Travel AG is based in Switzerland because blockchain and crypto regulations
already are in place and are therefore calculable.
Secondly, the general knowledge about blockchain is just
being built up. Many people have a basic understanding, and there is a lot of
negative news that influences public opinion. This is certainly more commonplace
in Europe than in the U.S. We do a lot of tech teaching and try to explain this
complex topic as simple as possible.
Generally, travel startups face a fairly tough time making
an impact - so why are you going to be one of lucky ones?
There is no comparable project for the travel industry. Other
travel-oriented blockchain projects are offered exclusively on blockchains
whose transaction fees are defined by third parties. This makes a big
difference: On Camino, the market participants themselves determine the amount
of transaction fees. In addition, they can jointly determine the future
development of the network by voting democratically whether, for example,
additional market participants should be accepted as validators or which new
projects should be supported by the Camino Foundation.
A year from now, what state do you think your startup will
In mid-2023, various global players from the travel industry
will test new business models and trade products on the Camino blockchain. The
Camino token will be traded on central exchanges. A remarkable number of
business partners will already trade and exchange bookable and not bookable
content via the Camino blockchain.
What is your end-game? (Going public, acquisition, growing
and staying private, etc.)
After the launch of the Camino main net, all non-opensource
intellectual property and reserved Camino tokens will be transferred to the
Camino foundation, registered in Switzerland.
The foundation’s purpose is to uphold decentralization,
independence and inviolability, as well as focus on the further advancement of
the blockchain. With this, the autonomy and future of the blockchain are
This scenario guarantees that investors who want to invest
in Camino or partners who wish to use Camino in the future can access an
intact, attractive and independent network that will benefit the future
performance of the Camino token.
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