BookLocal

Role

Co-founder and COO

Overview

BookLocal is an Ethereum based hotel distribution and property management system. The major advantage of using a blockchain for this purpose is that it enables hotels to join a distribution network without barriers. Currently, there is an effective duopoly in the online travel agency market (Expedia Group and Booking Holdings), with two main parent companies owning a majority the various online travel sites (e.g. Booking.com, Priceline.com, Kayak.com, and so on). This creates a situation where many hotels are asked to pay up to 30% commission per room rental. This rate can exclude many independent and small chain hotels from being competitive with larger chains.

ERC-809

In order to rent assets on the blockchian, I proposed a standard interface in ERC-809 (Ethereum Request for Comment). The advantage of having a consistent way of interfacing with rentable assets is that users can then see all of their blockchain-based rentals from a single wallet application. This means that if you go on a trip, you could open a single application and find your flight, hotel, car, and dinner reservations.

This ERC has been used in various other projects, most notably in a ConsenSys based project that deals with office and real estate rentals. Currently, I'm working on an implementation (here) that provides an inheritable abstraction for renting any asset for arbitrary durration without affecting the gas price.

Proof-of-Concept

For our first version proof-of-concept, we built a simple version of the product and released it on the Rinkeby test network. This version was used to reserve the first ever blockchain based rentals at the EthMemphis hackathon and workshop event in May 2018. Here is a short excerpt that includes a video of the proof-of-concept, and here is a short write-up that summarizes the event. .

Current

We are currently developing the second generation of the product. This includes a mobile interface for travelers, a tablet based interface for hotels, and updated smart-contracts.

For more information, please visit our website at https://booklocal.in or send me an email at steven@booklocal.in.

Blockchain Basics

Blockchain's are a hot topic right now, and there is a lot of misinformation. To better understand what a blockchain is and what it isn't, I wrote a paper that compares and contrasts the Ethereum blockchain to the Bitcoin blockchain. I also wrote a simulation in Python that emphasizes the key features.

Blockchain Basics: A Dive into Ethereum and Bitcoin

Abstract: Public blockchains and their corresponding cryptocurrencies have captured the imagination of many in recent years. Since the release of Bitcoin, several other projects, most notably one called Ethereum, have extended the key insights to allow code of arbitrary complexity to run securely on these public networks. This paper describes the main problem that they seek to solve and then proceeds to compare and contrast the implementations of Bitcoin and Ethereum. Finally, I suggest an evaluation of the Ethereum blockchain as a distributed system based on how well it makes resources available and provides user transparency, openness, and scalability.

Code

To provide a more interactive description, I wrote a small blockchain simulation in Python. The code can be found on my GitHub. To use, clone the repository and follow the instructions on the README.md.

Events

I have been involved with a couple Ethereum hackathons and workshop events.

EthMemphis

EthMemphis was the Southeast's first major blockchain event. As a co-organizer, I managed website content and design, email communication with the attendees, and speaker recruitment.

EthAtlanta

EthAtlanta followed a few months after EthMemphis with a simlar business application focus. I spoke here with a talk titled "Private Enterprise on Public Blockchains".

Consulting

I am available on a case by case basis for blockchain consulting. If interested, please contact me at smlee.981@gmail.com.