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Will blockchain be the next Internet? "While Bitcoin was created to be a digital currency that eliminates the traditional middle-men in money, many argue that Bitcoin-derived blockchain technology is the greater innovation of the two."

Skift Take

Blockchain is essentially a large immutable database which, due to its security features and decentralized nature, can pose a threat to traditional intermediaries. Companies are looking to expand blockchain to tackle the current travel distribution landscape.

— Dave Montali

Will blockchain be the next Internet?

Fritz Joussen, CEO of TUI Group, believes it will.

“It takes away the monopoly of knowledge from a few platforms,” he said.

Blockchain is the underlying technology behind Bitcoin, the cryptocurrency which currently has a market cap of some $45 billion. While Bitcoin was created to be a digital currency that eliminates the traditional middle-men in money, many argue that Bitcoin-derived blockchain technology is the greater innovation of the two.

Blockchain is essentially a distributed database to which data can only be appended, which means that historic data cannot be lost nor corrupted.

We interviewed Fritz Joussen after his presentation at the Noah Conference in Berlin a couple of weeks ago.

Joussen argues that blockchain will break the almost-“monopolistic” hold that Priceline, Expedia, and Airbnb hold in today’s lodging and distribution ecosystem. That may be overstating their grip on distribution, but we get the point.

“It will be very difficult for intermediaries to have sustainable business cases,” he said. “These platforms [travel intermediaries] build reach by spending billions on advertising, and then they create monopolistic margins on top of what they have as sales and marketing. They do offer great sales and marketing. Booking.com is a great brand, but they create superior margins because they have monopolistic structures. Blockchain destroys this.”

Since the release of Bitcoin in 2009, the blockchain space has seen a lot of innovation with new platforms such as Ethereum and Lisk creating a blockchain for developers to build...

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