The first prize in the inaugural #HackTravel London 2019, taking place at Travel Forward and sponsored by Winding Tree, went to a team which developed a crypto-booking app.
Switzerland-based Winding Tree is a non-profit, blockchain-based distribution system for the travel industry.
More than 15 developers, representing seven nationalities, took part in the hack. Developers were presented with real-world travel industry challenges and asked to come up with a solution using the open source Winding Tree platform and any other open source code.
Pedro Anderson, founder of Winding Tree, said: “Entries were judged according to technicality, originality, practicality and whether or not there was a wow factor. Each of the hacks scored highly across all criteria and there was something of interest in each of the pitches. It was a close call.”
Winding Tree was the first to identify that a blockchain-powered decentralized ecosystem could make travel cheaper for consumers and more profitable for providers by reducing the costs associated with middlemen and intermediaries.
It has only been around since 2017 and already works with many travel firms including airlines such as AirFrance-KLM, Lufthansa, Air Canada; hotels including Nordic Choice and CitizenM; and Siesta Cloud, a travel platform.
Winding Tree also has Lif, a cryptocurrency designed specifically for B2B transactions between travel businesses which are authorised through Org.ID, its blockchain-based digital verification tool.
Richard Gayle, Senior Director, Travel Forward said: “The hype around blockchain has died down and we are now seeing how it can be used for the good of travellers and suppliers’ bottom line.
“Innovative technology inspires innovative thinking, and one of Travel Forward’s goals is to become to go-to global event for inspirational technology-based content.