The mum or dad firm of the Alaska’s largest rural airline has created a cryptocurrency to reward fliers with a digital token that, in accordance with plans, might quickly be traded on exchanges, as Bitcoin is as we speak.
Officers with Ravn Alaska say the FlyCoin token will serve the aim of a standard airline loyalty program, giving vacationers worth for miles flown. However as they envision it, the cryptocurrency may have broader buying energy and be redeemable for money.
The idea is uncommon within the airline trade, stated Lenny Moon, chief govt of FlyCoin, a newly created firm and affiliate of Ravn Alaska.
“With this, you possibly can commerce it, get money for it,” stated Moon, a former Wall Avenue funding banker. “It doesn’t expire. It’s yours. You personal it.”
Josh Jones, an entrepreneur from Los Angeles and an early pioneer in Bitcoin, is lead investor and chairman of FLOAT Alaska, the mum or dad firm of Ravn Alaska and FlyCoin.
The airline rewards trade is “overdue for a digital transformation,” Jones stated in a ready assertion from FlyCoin on Wednesday.
Jones is overseeing the event of FlyCoin, Moon stated. FlyCoin just lately raised $33 million from buyers in an early step, Moon stated.
Moon was beforehand concerned in different startup corporations together with Payoff, a monetary know-how firm that gives loans to assist folks repay bank card debt.
The digital foreign money firm is the most recent enterprise pursued by FLOAT Alaska. This 12 months, the corporate can be planning to launch a brand new worldwide airline, Northern Pacific Airways. The airline will function beforehand retired Boeing 757-200s to fly between Anchorage and Asian and U.S. locations, in accordance with plans.
FlyCoin tokens shall be redeemable for journey with Ravn Alaska and on Northern Pacific Airways, Moon stated in an interview.
FlyCoin plans to have the digital tokens obtainable for commerce on cryptocurrency exchanges later this 12 months, broadening its worth, Moon stated. Ravn clients at the moment obtain credit score in FlyCoin, although the tokens aren’t but obtainable for placement in digital wallets, firm officers stated. FlyCoin ought to be totally up and operating within the coming months, they stated.
The mileage program that at the moment exists with Ravn’s companion, Alaska Airways, will even live on after that time.
One of many advantages of FlyCoin is that it will probably doubtlessly rise in worth, Moon stated. It might, in fact, additionally lose worth, he stated. Vacationers may have the choice to money it out shortly after they obtain it, or maintain it in hope that it rises.
Folks may have an possibility via Ravn to transform it to a voucher straight away, in the event that they don’t wish to cope with any fluctuation in worth, Moon stated. The plan is to have agreements with companion corporations, comparable to at motels, to make sure FlyCoins will at all times keep a minimum of a minimal worth for redemption of two cents per token, Moon stated.
Moon stated cryptocurrency is rising in use, and airline clients need extra flexibility with their mileage packages.
“We’re sitting at this intersection the place it is smart that rewards might convert to cryptocurrency the place it’s tradeable on an alternate,” he stated.