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FlyCoin is a new fintech startup that wants to offer flyers an alternative to traditional loyalty programs.
Flyers can earn “FlyCoins”, which can be exchanged for currencies such as Bitcoin or US dollars.
Ravn Alaska is currently participating in the program and Northern Pacific Airways will join after the flights start.
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Earning cryptocurrency could soon be as easy as earning airline frequent flyer miles.
FlyCoin is a new financial technology company that seeks to turn the traditional model of frequent flyer programs on its head by implementing cryptocurrency-based principles. Rather than airline miles restricted to a specific airline, rewards are given out in the form of tokens that can be exchanged for anything from free flights to US dollars or Bitcoin.
“When you look at what it is, it’s essentially like money, but not really because it’s tied to making sure you stay in the airline’s system,” said Lenny Moon, the newly appointed chief executive officer of FlyCoin, opposite insiders of the multi-billion dollar frequent flyer industry, in which loyalty is built up through points and miles, as well as discounts for top customers such as upgrades, waived service fees and optimized airport experiences.
After tokenization, investors could earn cryptocurrencies the same way frequent flyers earn airline miles: buy plane tickets and travel around the world. “FlyCoins” are not expiring and newly appointed CEO Lenny Moon told Insider that thanks to the crypto principles of decentralization and limited supply, they will not be subject to the devaluations experienced with frequent flyer programs such as Southwest Airlines’ Rapid Rewards.
For frequent flyers, earning FlyCoin simply by participating in flights can be a risk-free way to build a cryptocurrency portfolio. And since Bitcoin is projected to hit up to $ 100,000 by 2022, according to a Standard Chartered report, flyers can sit on a sizeable investment.
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Two airlines are already on board, including Ravn Alaska and Northern Pacific Airways, the latter being the new startup looking to connect the US and Asia via Anchorage, Alaska.
And with FlyCoin piggybacking on Northern Pacific’s plan to build a transcontinental hub in Anchorage, FlyCoin’s ultimate goal is to get its currency accepted by businesses. It also means potentially turning Alaska’s largest city into a cryptocurrency haven where travelers can use FlyCoin to purchase goods and services.
The company is already in talks with Ted Stevens International Airport in Anchorage to accept FlyCoin on concessions at the terminal and is hoping to grow around hotels, tour operators and other local businesses within Anchorage.
Like Anchorage, it is hoped so will the rest of the North Pacific destinations in Lower 48 including New York, Orlando, and Las Vegas. The acceptance of cryptocurrencies is already growing on the other side of the international date line, including in the Asian destinations that Northern Pacific wants to serve.
“Much will be in the hands of as many people as possible while giving them the opportunity to spend [FlyCoin] and the ability to do so, “said Moon,” whether on airplanes, at the terminal, at local attractions, and eventually in other parts of the US and Asia. “
United Airlines, for example, enables MileagePlus members to use their frequent flyer miles to purchase meals, snacks, and other goods in their terminals at Newark Liberty International Airport. But FlyCoin wants to get rid of the airport completely.
“You now have an opportunity to be rewarded as a customer, but now you can spend money [those rewards] and use [them] for a much wider range of open options, “said Moon.
Cryptocurrencies are riding a wave of excitement and growing public acceptance that FlyCoin hopes will add to its success. El Salvador, for example, has just introduced Bitcoin as a national currency alongside the dollar.
“We’re at the intersection of good variables that can help us drive change,” said Moon.
FlyCoin doesn’t have a tokenization schedule yet, but has some time as Northern Pacific won’t start flights until the summer of 2022. Until then, FlyCoin can be earned by flying on Ravn Alaska.
Read the original article on Business Insider