Blockchain for Travel: Manuel Araoz Joins Winding Tree’s Efforts to Decentralize the Travel Industry

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Winding Tree, the company that is developing the first decentralized travel marketplace on the Blockchain, is removing third party intermediaries, in order to bring innovation back into the travel industry, while at the same time significantly reducing costs for consumers.

The Wright brothers didn’t invent airplanes in order to get us from one place to another, they invented planes because they were dreamers, inventors, and pioneers. Technology has come a long way since then, unintentionally turning travel distribution into one of the most misused, greedy industries, notoriously known for placing exorbitant fees and restrictions on both travel service companies and travelers.

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Winding Tree’s platform has the potential to replace excessive fees and monopolies, making travel cheaper, faster, and more enjoyable for consumers, and more profitable for travel providers.

There is a big problem in the online industry today, as two companies, Priceline and Expedia, presently dominate 95% of the industry market in the United States. Due to their strong market power, prices are not only controlled in their favor, their high distribution fees force hotels and airlines to offset the costs, shifting the burden of paying these high fees onto their potential customers. The dominance and interference of these intermediaries is stifling the expansion of travel innovation startups who, due to the lack of economic incentive, rely on companies such as Expedia and Priceline, for business viability. Winding Tree, in setting up on a Blockchain platform, gives the power back to the people, the traveler, and the travel innovator.

Winding Tree is announcing the addition of two new members to its advisory board: Swiss travel expert Don Birch, former CEO of GDS (Global Distribution System) Abacus, and Manuel Aráoz, an influential and highly active member of the crypto community, expert in cryptocurrencies, and Co-Founder of his own Blockchain company and consulting firm.
This exciting collaboration will propel the efforts of Winding Tree toward minimizing the costs of travel planning, while maximizing the motion to innovate for future and existing travel service companies.

Winding Tree has confirmed the Token Generation Event (TGE) date for its Líf token, which will take place on November 1st. The Winding Tree platform is maintained and supported by a larger nonprofit foundation in Switzerland, called the Winding Tree Foundation. The Foundation’s mission is to develop and evolutionize the efficiency of travel distribution and technology by:

  • Funding collaborative travel projects; such as, open-source databases and APIs
  • Promoting event, marketing, and other community initiatives
  • Building an open-consensus modeled marketplace, where anyone can freely participate in the network and propose changes

These characteristics combined make Winding Tree one of the first truly open-source projects in the travel space.

“We are extremely excited about these recent developments as we approach the Líf coin Token Generation Event, including the addition of our two new expert advisors, Don Birch and Manuel Aráoz,” said Pedro Anderson, Founder and COO of Winding Tree, “There is a big problem in the online travel industry today, in which the distribution landscape in travel is dominated by a handful of companies, which manipulate the prices to their benefit, hindering competition and innovation. Winding Tree Foundation’s non-profit approach is presenting a democratic, transparent, decentralized solution to this issue.”

About Richard Kastelein

Founder and publisher of industry publication Blockchain News (EST 2015), a partner at ICO services collective Token.Agency ($750m+ and 90+ ICOs and STOs), director of education company Blockchain Partners (Oracle Partner) – Vancouver native Richard Kastelein is an award-winning publisher, innovation executive and entrepreneur. He sits on the advisory boards of some two dozen Blockchain startups and has written over 1500 articles on Blockchain technology and startups at Blockchain News and has also published pioneering articles on ICOs in Harvard Business Review and Venturebeat. Irish Tech News put him in the top 10 Token Architects in Europe.

Kastelein has an Ad Honorem - Honorary Ph.D. and is Chair Professor of Blockchain at China's first Blockchain University in Nanchang at the Jiangxi Ahead Institute of Software and Technology. In 2018 he was invited to and attended University of Oxford's Saïd Business School for Business Automation 4.0 programme.  Over a half a decade experience judging and rewarding some 1000+ innovation projects as an EU expert for the European Commission's SME Instrument programme as a startup assessor and as a startup judge for the UK government's Innovate UK division.

Kastelein has spoken (keynotes & panels) on Blockchain technology in Amsterdam, Antwerp, Barcelona, Beijing, Brussels, Bucharest, Dubai, Eindhoven, Gdansk, Groningen, the Hague, Helsinki, London (5x), Manchester, Minsk, Nairobi, Nanchang, Prague, San Mateo, San Francisco, Santa Clara (2x), Shanghai, Singapore (3x), Tel Aviv, Utrecht, Venice, Visakhapatnam, Zwolle and Zurich.

He is a Canadian (Dutch/Irish/English/Métis) whose writing career has ranged from the Canadian Native Press (Arctic) to the Caribbean & Europe. He's written occasionally for Harvard Business Review, Wired, Venturebeat, The Guardian and, and his work and ideas have been translated into Dutch, Greek, Polish, German and French. A journalist by trade, an entrepreneur and adventurer at heart, Kastelein's professional career has ranged from political publishing to TV technology, boatbuilding to judging startups, skippering yachts to marketing and more as he's travelled for nearly 30 years as a Canadian expatriate living around the world. In his 20s, he sailed around the world on small yachts and wrote a series of travel articles called, 'The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Seas' travelling by hitching rides on yachts (1989) in major travel and yachting publications. He currently lives in Groningen, Netherlands where he's raising three teenage daughters with his wife and sailing partner, Wieke Beenen.

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