Binance-backed travel company launches a decentralized Airbnb competitor

    17 Jun 2021
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    A travel booking site Travala.com backed by Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, is launching Dtravel, a decentralized vacation rental service that could compete with Airbnb and gives homeowners a stake in the platform.

    In a Wednesday announcement, Travala said it had partnered with former executives from Airbnb and Expedia to launch a new service similar to Vrbo and Airbnb.

    According to Juan Otero, Travala.com co-founder and CEO, the site will accept payments in Bitcoin and cryptocurrency, and it will be entirely community-governed through Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO) by users holding Dtravel’s TRVL token.

    Dtravel will launch on June 16 on Ethereum and Binance Smart Chain and use DeFi protocols to facilitate smart contracts between hosts and guests.

    As an incentive to join the home-sharing service, the first 100,000 early registrants will receive a collective total of $35 million in cryptocurrency.

    “The main goal here is that Dtravel will be focusing exclusively on homes and that homes vertical will be integrated on the Travala.com platform,” stated Otero. “Dtravel is going to be built to become a frictionless on-ramp into crypto and, just like it can become one of the largest and most decentralized DAOs in the world, it can also become one of the best use cases for crypto because travel is one of the best vehicles for crypto adoption, everybody travels, especially going into the post-covid phase,” he added.

    Otero claims to repair “the broken relationship between hosts and guests created by existing centralized home-sharing platforms” because issues stemming from centralized control on competing for home-sharing platforms have led to high fees and lack of direct communications between hosts and guests, in addition to many not allowing cryptocurrency as a payment option.

    “Traditional home-sharing platforms are aligned with their users in the early stages, but over time this changes,” said Otero. “With the need to return profits to shareholders, home-sharing platforms are forced to extract as much as possible from transactions on their platforms.”

    Dtravel’s fees will be lower than Airbnb fees. It will charge a 7.5% fee, with 1.0% going to provide insurance to hosts. The other 6.5% will go into a community treasury, which will be spent to make platform upgrades or to create user incentives, as dictated by community voting.

    Now, it’s good timing for the travel and tourism industry, which is ready to grow as the economy reopens. The significant size and reach of the travel industry lead Travala.com CEO to believe that travel could play a crucial role in appealing peoples into the crypto industry.

    Although, the ultimate success of this platform will depend on a few key factors. Dtravel is what’s called a Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO). The service’s rules are smart contracts, a code written on top of the blockchain. TRVL token-holders will be able to participate in the company’s decision-making. But they will also have to find a way to avoid the risks where other decentralized projects in the sharing economy were unsuccessful. Having an equitable and fair distribution system, and obtaining listings on leading exchanges, will all be crucial factors in the success of Dtravel’s DAO.

    Travala.com has more than 3 million listings of homes and hotels and about 200,000 monthly active users. The platform offers more than 30 methods of payment, but 70% of all bookings are paid for using cryptocurrencies.

    Dtravel is based on the Binance Smart Chain. It is backed by $5 million funds from Kenetic Capital, Future Perfect Ventures, DHVC, Plutus VC, GBV Capital, AU21 Capital, Shima Capital, LD Capital, and NGC Ventures, and several angel investors.

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/emilymason/2021/06/16/worlds-largest-cryptocurrency-exchange-launches-blockchain-powered-airbnb-competitor/

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