Starting in 2016, “blockchain” became the cryptocurrency buzzword that entrepreneurs and institutional investors started to flock to. Bitcoin out, blockchain in. But, as usual, the hype proved to be way more than the reality, and it turned out that creating value on the blockchain was just much harder than the hypemen made it out to be.
Out of that kind of hype, though, often comes a few people who have a vision of real value that can be created – albeit not immediately and only after a lot of hard work. PriceCoin is a blockchain based rewards program that seeks to make the promise of blockchain in business a reality. We were in contact with Eddie Ibanez, the CEO of PriceCoin, to find out a bit about what his company is doing.
Please tell us your name and a little about yourself.
My name is Eddie Ibanez and I’m the CEO of PriceCoin which is an idea that originally spawned from Zenabi Data, where we turn business data into actionable items to improve the bottom line.
Can you explain the technology behind PriceCoin?
Picture a spreadsheet that is duplicated thousands of times across a network of computers. Then imagine that this network is designed to regularly update this spreadsheet. Information held on a blockchain exists as a shared — and continually reconciled — database. This allows us to distribute and share rewards points between every user on the PriceCoin network. When someone books travel and earns rewards, everyone else on PriceCoin earns rewards too as the accounts are updated across the network.
How did you come up with the idea for PriceCoin?
We have always been impressed with blockchain technology and its innumerable number of uses. We decided that putting this technology in the hands of users for real uses, rather than just for cryptocurrency was inevitable. This led us to create PriceCoin, where users are presented with amazing deals on hotels, and are rewarded with PriceCoin Rewards for every purchase.
Can you explain what makes PriceCoin different from other discount travel booking sites? Is the user experience any different?
We believe our key differentiating factor is the loyalty economy that empowers travelers and deal seekers alike. PriceCoin points never expire and are earned on every purchase. You can then spend your points on more travel, money-back-rewards like gift cards or charitable donations. The whole site feels like a living, breathing ecosystem where the rewards are earned by everyone who participates.
Do you believe the PriceCoin loyalty model will help shape other loyalty/rewards programs in the future?
Absolutely. No other loyalty system exists like this. We are transforming the online travel space by fusing blockchain with traditional loyalty rewards programs. We are already in the works of applying this technology to other industries and we plan to see an uptick in adoption of this tech throughout the year.
Are there any additional features planned for the future? For example, last-minute deals, travel bundles, etc.
We work directly with our userbase to design best features possible. One exciting feature we expect to roll out is location-based deals where hotel nearest to you will have significantly discounted rates. We are always updating our AI model to learn from user feedback so we can deliver the best experience possible. Our AI analyzes thousands of hotel prices and reviews in real-time to predict and serve up the best deals for a user. It’s not just what we know about the user on the site, but we know about the market and similar users who have visited. All these insights are used the moment you search for a destination to give you the best recommendations.
To find out more, please visit the PriceCoin website here.