As the lockdown wears on and travel and tourism, a USD$9 trillion industry in 2019, continue to be restricted, ShareRing is one company that has been innovating to use blockchain technology to solve the issue. ShareRing is a platform that wants to take the hassle out of travel, with its all-inclusive travel app for both businesses and consumers led by CEO and Founder Tim Bos along with the other 5 founders including Jane Sadler-Kidd. The team recognized the potential to disrupt the fragmented sharing economy with blockchain technology and launched an enterprise-ready blockchain geared towards the travel, sharing and on-demand economies. According to Kidd “ShareLedger is a custom-designed, immutable blockchain database built on top of the Tendermint blockchain. It’s fast, highly scalable and extremely flexible compared to existing platforms such as Ethereum.”
Imagine stepping off the plane and knowing all your travel needs can be securely booked and managed from your phone. No more juggling handing over passports, travel documents or bank cards. ShareRing’s travel app will create a more cohesive customer experience by bringing all the necessary activities and bookings into one ecosystem, including hotel check-ins, flights, visa and tourist applications, Covid-19 tests, self-sovereign digital identity cards, mobile wallets, payment solutions and vehicle rentals.
They are also launching the world’s first anonymous contact-tracing passport that can be integrated with e-visa on arrival systems (eVOA), travel insurance companies, airlines, hotels and retail shops. While contact-tracing applications have undergone harsh scrutiny since the pandemic began, with studies showing many tracing applications lack adequate security, are manual and expensive to execute. ShareRing’s self-sovereign identity storing model overcomes the major hurdle of securing data integrity by ensuring data privacy through anonymous distributed ledger cryptography.
Travelers’ “Proof of Health” is tied safely to a QR code which is scanned by airports, hotels or shops to reveal the status of their test, allowing for more freedom of movement and interaction with customers. Identity information is never stored on the blockchain and cannot be altered, preventing falsification and fraud where other contact tracing apps had third party storage of data. According to Kidd “When someone signs up for a ShareRing ID, we take their photo, video selfie, name, DOB, address, etc and store it in an encrypted file that never leaves the user’s device. We also take a ‘fingerprint’ of the data and documentation and store that on the blockchain. The file is encrypted with your public key, so only you can access it. You can also back it up to your Google Drive, or other cloud storage. If any information is changed it will not be recognized by the blockchain and the user will be forced to recreate their ShareRing ID. When you use one of our services like the COVID-19 app, the app will send only the necessary information to the government (anonymously) to allow others to be notified if they have been in contact with you.” This is critical while many governments are considering mandating, and some have, health certificates in order to ease lockdown measures and re-open borders and struggling economies safely. As Kidd explains “We have designed this application with government, tourism and health regulator requirements in mind. Our Covid-19 passport is perfectly suited to their standards, very low-cost, built to be easily integrated into any application, and encourages adoption among the population by building it in a way that provably safeguards their privacy. This should enable them to safely screen travelers and keep their essential workers protected in the event of an outbreak.”
The app is part of a broader ecosystem of blockchain products the company has built. ShareRing’s application has already been integrated with more than 2.6 million hotel and activity providers around the world and they already have a sharing marketplace removing middlemen like Uber and AirBnb. SharePay is their stablecoin which ‘hides’ the confusion of cryptocurrency from the end-user. The payment of services and goods between user and service provider will be made in SharePay.