AirAsia, the low cost airline, is planning for entry into the cryptocurrency through initial coin offering (ICO). It will be one of the reputed airlines in Southeast Asia pushing for digital currency for cashless transactions.
Mr. Tony Fernandes, the Chief Executive Officer of AirAsia has revealed to the TechCrunch in the past week that the Big Points Loyalty program of the airline can be transferred into the blockchain with ease. However, he has not disclosed the details of fund raising for this new initiative.
According to the CEO, the low cost airline is developing a payment platform to marry with its existing product that can be easily transferred into the Big Points Loyalty program. The ecosystem of AirAsia allows the customers to use the digital currency. If everything goes well as per the plan, it would become the first airline to launch the own cryptocurrency for the cashless system.
The networth of Mr. Fernandes is estimated at $745 million and ranked as the 50th richest person in Malaysia. He is dreaming to make the operations of the airline cashless and go Eco-friendly. Many Southeast Asian residents are working overseas and making the remittances to their own country. The new initiative is expected to benefit such Southeast Asian nationals working abroad.
According to a chat with CNBC, Mr. Fernandes is planning to establish new airlines in Vietnam and Myanmar in the foreseeable future.
AirAsia is also embracing latest technologies. The airline aims to introduce facial recognition technology at Johor Bahru based Senai International Airport for check-in desk.
Other Airlines in the News on Blockchain Push
Lufthansa, one of the reputed airlines, has entered into a pact with a startup – Winding Tree last year to embrace the blockchain technology and reduce the use of intermediaries in booking B2B travel. Winding Tree has mobilized funds of more than the target of $10 million through ICO in the first 6 days.
There are mixed trends in adopting the cryptocurrency in Southeast Asia. Singapore is one of the favorite destinations for ICOs. The funds raised through ICO in the country are estimated at $3.3 billion last year.
On the other side, countries such as Cambodia and Indonesia have blocked the use of cryptocurrency or blockchain.