These experiences are precious – not to mention that in order to travel, we must take time away from work, from family, from responsibility.
Therefore, the pressure to wring every bit of richness out of a travel experience can be high. In a world literally full of McDonalds and Starbucks, grasping the authenticity of a new place can be a challenge – it can be nearly impossible to discover the soul of a city without someone who knows where to find it already.
As the cost of actually getting somewhere continues to decrease, the possibility of travel has been opened up to new groups of people. Millenials and Gen-Z travelers who would have had to pay small fortunes for plane tickets and hotel rooms in the past can now snag weekend bare-fare deals and rest their heads in quaint, inexpensive AirBnbs.
However, these travelers may find themselves riding around on tour buses, stuck eating fast food without knowing where the best activities and cheap eats in town are.
Is Blockchain the Answer for Better Travel Experiences?
Of course, there are the standard travel apps; TripAdvisor and Yelp can be helpful, but the overabundance of information on these platforms (as well as the presence of biased content) can lead to stressful bouts of indecision, sometimes based on misleading or even false counsel.
Maybe this is why the blockchain-based ‘Cool Cousin’ is quickly becoming a stalwart fixture in the travel industry. Named as one of Mashable’s ‘7 Can’t-Miss Apps,’ Cool Cousin enables travelers to connect with locals, receiving on-demand guidance about the best things to do in town.
By connecting with people who have intimate knowledge of the place they are visiting, travelers can gain access to authentic understanding of a place that a travel agent or standard travel website could never provide them with.
Meet Your New ‘Cousin’
Locals who provide personalized travel tips on the app are known as ‘Cousins’ – your Cousin can tell you the best places to eat, sleep, and visit. With a user-friendly mobile application, travelers can choose their Cousins based on age, gender, and personal interests.
Cousins are incentivized to provide their expertise with token rewards in the form of Cool Cousin’s native cryptocurrency, CUZ. Users who hold CUZ tokens on the platform will be able to use the coins to pay for an array of services in addition to guidance.
There are also users classified as Pro-Cousins on the network who have earned the reputation to become actual travel agents on the platform. In addition, the ecosystem employs contributors and editors and will include a Board of Representatives. Business Owners are also included on the platform, and (following a Cousin recommendation) will be able to edit their business’s page and provide special offers to users.
Blockchain technology protects the platform against biased information because of the transparent nature of distributed ledger technology. As is written on the Cool Cousin website, blockchain “limits the company’s ability to make commercial decisions that compromise the service’s authenticity.” Sponsored content will still be a part of the platform, but it will always be clearly labeled accordingly.
While real-world adoption can be a struggle for blockchain-based applications, Cool Cousin was founded as a non-blockchain firm in 2015 – the application has already garnered more than 500,000 traveler users as well as more than 1,000 Cousins spread across more than 70 cities.
The platform is based on the Ethereum blockchain. While the majority of CUZ tokens will be reserved for the Community, much of the remaining tokens will be used to pay out incentives for interacting with the application in various ways.
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Blockchain for Collaboration
Cool Cousin is yet another example of the potential that blockchain technology has as a collaborative tool. Even ten years ago, imagining an incentivized the platform that provided travelers with intimate knowledge of a new place would have been a rather outlandish idea – yet, here we are.
With so many users already engaged with the platform, Cool Cousin is well positioned to become a major player not only in the travel industry but in the blockchain space as a whole. We can only hope that the synergistic combination of travel advice and blockchain will bring both the travel industry and the cryptosphere farther forward into the future.