Blockchain In The Travel Industry: 11 Startups To Watch In 2019

  • 29 January 2019
  • Sam Mire

They say travel is the key to happiness because you get to see new sights, taste new food, and explore new cultures. If only it were easier to find tickets at reasonable price points, get to the airport comfortably, and avoid planes packed with cranky babies and crankier adults. But never fear, blockchain tech is here, at least to do what it can.

Blockchain technology can’t prevent the sweaty, talkative guy next to you on the airplane from chatting, but but it can rein in some of the more controllable aspects of travel and make them less nauseating. This includes end-to-end virtual ticketing platforms, services that lock in good deals on hotels, social review sites that help you avoid sketchy airlines and bug-infested motels. Purchase-tracking apps even work to keep tabs your eligible tax refunds while you’re traveling out of the country.

The blockchain’s going to make travel far more tolerable in the future. Here are some companies looking to change the industry.


A ‘decentralized blockchain lodging ecosystem’, Emphy seeks to provide savings for renters by embracing the efficiency, speed, and cost savings that come from relying on smart contracts instead of third-party intermediaries. By providing more complete information about a property on a user-friendly interface, Emphy hopes to become a reliable service for worthy travelers and landlords who are seeking to avoid the costs associated with centralized services, travel agencies, and real estate agents.

Date Founded: 2017

Funding Type: ICO


The LockTrip team is banking on the fact that 0% commissions on hotels and vacation rentals will be an appealing proposition for cost-conscious travelers. With their blockchain-powered rental and hotel marketplace, LockTrip will use their LOC coin to book a room or rental, then release the LOC coin to the hotelier upon checkout. Using the platform landlords and hoteliers can convert the LOC coin to fiat currency without paying processing or commission fees. With 100,000 hotels already live, there is clear interest in this concept.

ICO: October 29, 2017

Funding Type: ICO

Arise TechnologyArise Technology

Arise is bringing the element of trustless exchanges to the hotel industry, as well as tangentially-connected industries surrounding travel lodging. Instead of relying upon third-party booking services that extract fees from each transaction, the Arise Travel platform allows hotels to set their nightly rates, establish a benchmark of the commission they are willing to pay for a booking, and booking services can choose to take on that booking for the set commission, or not. The distributed nature of the Arise Travel cache allows any booking service to access the platform at any time, from anywhere, and smart contracts handle the payment aspect of each transaction.

Date Founded: December 2017

Funding Type: Venture-backed


BTU Protocol is a base protocol upon which decentralized applications can be built, and it’s designed specifically for those industries that rely on booking – think: travel. Using a combined approach of on-chain smart contract technology and off-chain software, BTU Protocol hopes to replace centralized systems by which intermediary sites and services claim an undue percentage of travel booking commissions.

ICO: June 7, 2018

Funding Type: ICO


Futourist is a platform for travel-loving creators to upload original content, leave reviews, and engage in other activities that would be beneficial to those considering a vacation – while being rewarded for their contributions. Most popular travel review sites do not have systems for directly compensating contributors, whose perspectives are immeasurably valuable. Their FTR coins are the means by which reviewers get paid for sharing their experiences and impressions.

ICO: February 20, 2018

Funding Type: ICO

EBCoinEBCoin Global

For those who are frequent travelers inclined to save money through their tax refunds, EBCoin is the blockchain solution to look into. EBC wallet tracks purchases while outside of your country of origin and maintains them on a trustworthy ledger, reducing the need for cumbersome paper trails and legacy provenance methods when it comes time to apply for a tax refund. EBCoin claims to pay 100% of refunds to travelers, and also offers services including currency exchange and payment, anywhere, using the EBC Wallet.

Date Founded: 2017

Funding Type: ICO

TOA CoinTOA Coin 

TOA Coin is a cryptocurrency designed specifically for use by travelers, but has now expanded its use into the everyday purchase of goods and services. Still, TOA caters primarily to those who are on the go, including both mobile and desktop-enabled digital wallets. They are currently in the works developing their travel booking site, which is the next step towards spreading TOA Coin’s sphere of influence.

Date Founded: July 24, 2017

Funding Type: ICO


This Chinese, decentralized travel service platform offers discounted rates, the ability to book using several different cryptocurrencies, and the ability to earn more than the mere rental price for temporarily letting out your property. With properties from Singapore to Sydney and Tokyo accepting crypto bookings via Tripio, it is a site catering to the crypto-loving travel community.

Funding Type: Venture-backed


TravelBlock is another booking service that seeks to eliminate the hassle and fees associated with the third-party-infested booking process. They claim that those who utilize their TRVL tokens to transact and book will experience 30% to 60% in discounts on their ‘vacation needs’. This is made possible through strategic industry partnerships and, of course, fewer intermediaries raising the ultimate cost for travelers booking their accomodations.

ICO: June 18, 2018

Funding Type: ICO

Winding TreeWindingTree

Winding Tree is a public infrastructure designed to enable more decentralized services for the travel industry. From homeshare booking to managing rewards processes, they are working to change the way travelers plan their adventures. By creating decentralized protocols, they are working to remove intermediaries that charge excessive fees and act as gatekeepers for services.

Date Founded: Jun 9, 2017

Funding Type: Private


Volantio is working to help airlines maximize revenue while creating more delightful customer experiences and rewards. They are using blockchain technology to help improve efficiency and decrease costs through greater capacity utilization. They are also aiming to provide customers with better visibility and control of their travel plans.

Date Founded: 2014

Funding Type: Private

About Sam Mire

Sam is a Market Research Analyst at Disruptor Daily. He's a trained journalist with experience in the field of disruptive technology. He’s versed in the impact that blockchain technology is having on industries of today, from healthcare to cannabis. He’s written extensively on the individuals and companies shaping the future of tech, working directly with many of them to advance their vision. Sam is known for writing work that brings value to industry professionals and the generally curious – as well as an occasional smile to the face.