Lufthansa Strikes Deal With Blockchain ICO Startup
One of Europe’s largest airlines is partnering with a blockchain travel platform as part of a bid to explore possible applications of the technology. Announced today, Lufthansa Group has entered into a deal with Swiss startup Winding Tree, a decentralized business-to-business market built on the ethereum blockchain.
As a result of the deal, Maksim Izmaylov, CEO of Winding Tree, said the startup will help Lufthansa in construction and testing decentralized, blockchain-based travel apps that fulfill the requirements of airlines, while Lufthansa will integrate its own APIs with the Winding Tree platform.
Reinhard Lanegger, senior venture development manager at the Lufthansa Innovation Hub, advised CoinDesk, that, especially, Lufthansa is considering exploring use cases that would put booking, rebooking and traveller itinerary advice on a blockchain.
In a nutshell, he explained both Lufthansa and Winding Tree watch the partnership as a win-win — one that allows Lufthansa exposure to new technologies specialists, and Winding Tree accessibility to specialists within the field.
“We want to provide Winding Tree expertise.”
The new venture goes a step farther, though, bringing Lufthansa into the fashionable world of initial coin offerings (ICOs), the term denoting how startups are now leveraging habit cryptocurrencies as a means to fund early-stage startup growth.
Notably, within the partnership, Lufthansa will also be investing in Winding Tree as part of its coming sale of a market called LIF. Although the airline didn’t disclose how much it is going to be investing, the token will initially be utilized to fund the growth of Winding Tree’s stage.
Finally, however, LIF is going to be the mechanism with which users can reserve travel.
“Anyone owning LIF tokens are going to be able to book flights, resorts and cruises … directly on the blockchain.”
However, Lufthansa isn’t new to the tech, having signaled interest from the blockchain space as early as 2014 when it partnered with bitcoin payment processor Bitnet. And, while Lufthansa is the only airline now public with its interest in utilizing the system, Lanegger said it may attempt to incorporate other partners in trials.
“It is something which people will talk about,” Lanegger stated, adding: “We as a group have always been a frontrunner when it comes to technology.”