Travala.com, a cryptocurrency-friendly online travel agency (OTA) backed by Binance, today introduced dTravel, a decentralized platform for the home-sharing economy for short- and long-term stays.
The product is owned entirely by its community via the dTravel Decentralized Autonomous Organisation (DAO), and leveraging decentralized finance (DeFi) blockchain technology to facilitate smart contracts.
dTravel replaces the broken relationship between hosts and guests created by centralized home sharing companies such as Airbnb, creating the world’s first true sharing economy. For the first time, both hosts and guests are incentivized through dTravel’s platform to engage in shared ownership of the sharing economy.
“As a publicly traded company, Airbnb’s primary concern is no longer for its community of homeowners and guests; it’s for shareholders and its own financial gains”, said Juan Otero, co-founder and CEO of Travala.com.
He added, “dTravel was built from the ground up to meet the needs of the community first and forever. It’s easy-to-use, highly secure, and optimized for the next generation of hosts and travelers looking to take back control of their travel experience.”
The Problem: Too Much Control in the Hands of Too Few
Over the past decade, a limited number of corporations have risen to dominate the home-sharing economy, which has resulted in the centralization and near monopolization of a once-decentralized ecosystem.
Though this structure has led to the dramatic growth of the home-sharing economy, it has done so at a cost, including:
- High fees – Airbnb and Vrbo charge fees from 17-20% of the total booking cost
- Centralized and controlled communications – loss of direct guest-client relationships
- Transactional processes, not relationships – a shift from encouraging high-value peer-to-peer relationships to transactional ones
- Lower levels of trust – trust between property owners and guests, as well as towards the platforms themselves, has been eroded
- Payment options – limited and attract large merchant fees. Existing players don’t accept payment in cryptocurrencies
The dTravel Solution: Community-Owned, Peer-to-Peer, DeFi Native
dTravel aims to replace the broken relationship between centralized home-sharing corporations, and their hosts and guests, by putting ownership, control, and decision-making back into the hands of users through blockchain technology. dTravel can:
- Reduce fees – instead of commissions as high as Airbnb’s 17%, service fees on dTravel are only 7.5%. Transaction fees are held in a community-owned treasury and are used to grow the dTravel network
- Give ownership and voice back to the community – the dTravel DAO, the platform’s community-run governing body, enables property owners and travelers to directly influence the direction, operations, and governance of dTravel for the benefit of the whole network
- Expand payment options – enable various cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, to use for payments that lower the cost of transacting compared to fiat
- Align interests – instead of being forced into an extraction imperative common with centralized platforms, use a token to align the economic interests of network participants
- Provide peace of mind – At least US $1,000,000 in damage protection for property owners
- Create additional revenue streams – property owners and travelers can earn additional revenue by referring hosts and guest, as well as by participating in the decentralization and incentivization of ecosystem support such as user support, community forums, and troubleshooting
“Sharing economies are authentic and sustainable only when they are owned and controlled by stakeholders, and the home-sharing ecosystem has been broken for years under outsized control from centralized corporations. It’s time for a community-owned and community-governed replacement,” said Jalak Jobanputra, Founding Partner of Future/Perfect Ventures, in a statement.
dTravel is powered by its native token TRVL — available on Binance Smart Chain and Ethereum Network — which is held by all hosts and used for booking stays, staking to qualify for rewards, participation in dTravel DAO governance and accessing the dTravel loyalty program.
All hosts receive period distributions from the growth of the dTravel network proportional to their TRVL holdings. dTravel was built by a 60+ member team experienced in travel and DeFi from the world’s leading blockchain-based online travel agency, Travala.com, and backed by the world’s leading cryptocurrency exchange, Binance.
dTravel has secured a $5.5M seed fundraising round from Kenetic Capital, Future Perfect Ventures, DHVC, Plutus VC, GBV Capital, AU21 Capital, Shima Capital, and NGC Ventures among others, as well as several angel investors including former executives at Airbnb, Expedia, Uber, and Google, some of whom have joined the dTravel team.
Disclaimer: CryptoSlate holds a financial position in dTravel. CryptoSlate was given the opportunity to participate in the private sale of dTravel in exchange for news, project analysis, and other types of coverage. CryptoSlate was not paid for this article.