Blockchain-powered service LockChain.co that creates a technological solution and a decentralized marketplace for property booking without intermediaries has announced in its official blog that it released the marketplace in alpha.
The announcement comes shortly after the company has struck partnerships with around 100,000 hotels around the world to list them on the platform. While currently the alpha market features only 600 short term rentals, the list will be expanded to the full extent of the abovementioned inventory, by the end of February 2018.
The lack of intermediaries cuts out all fees that are usually included in a room price at platforms like Booking.com and AirBnb. The platform’s native token LOC ensures direct interaction between hosts and guests and virtually eliminates all unnecessary commissions.
“Booking.com and Airbnb.com charge on average 20% from each booking that is made through their platform. Our plan is to utilize advanced blockchain technology and to cut out any commissions. It is the right of the host to receive the full amount of the money for the investment that they are making, and it is certainly the right of the traveler to be able to pay directly to hosts for their travel experience..”, LockChain.co CEO Nikola Alexandrov stated.
The LOC token itself has a total supply of only 18.5M and has experienced a 600% growth after LockChain’s successful tokensale held in November 2017. Back then, the company raised 10,500 ETH from 4,500 contributors among which, many are travel lovers and accommodation professionals.
The blog post announcing the release describes the alpha version’s features. Some of the main features are as follows:
- Personal LOC/ETH wallet linking to profile.
- Free Property listing for hosts – regardless of number of properties and revenue
- Real-time Multi-currency (GBP, USD , EUR) support via API connectivity.
- HTML5 Mobile Responsive design via React JS — still some polishing to be done, so please don’t worry if you see some ux flaw on your mobile.
- Integration with 600+ bookable properties.
Marketplace Storefront Features:
- Dynamic homes search with real time availability and pricing check, currently with a selector for countries based on available inventory, that will be switched to a city-based search with autocomplete for city specific searches.
- Dynamic calculation of LOC conversion rate to other crypto- and fiat currencies through averaged LOC price from Coinmarketcap API — properties are priced by hosts in fiat, and the price shown in LOC is automatically adjusted to current LOC rate, so that it will always match the fiat equivalent at the time of booking.
- When a traveler initiates a booking request, the host will get a notification with the details of the booking, being able to initiate communication and change status to “Cancelled” or “Completed” upon verifying payment.
- LOC Payment instructions are delivered via email upon initiation of a booking request.
- Property calendar with availability and rates — browse up to 90 days ahead and see the specific rates a property has, to choose the best possible rates if you have a flexible travel window ahead.
The platform will also feature an app for end users and a browser version of the service to further facilitate interaction between all parties involved in the booking process.