Volavia: ’Digital currency is changing payment protocols’

Yves Le Marquand

When people hear the word cryptocurrency, they imagine teenage anarchists getting rich on the weekend, but that is a thing of the past, Mark Green, founder of private aviation booking platform, Volavia told Corporate Jet Investor (CJI) Town Hall delegates. Cryptocurrency, now aka digital currency, is being rebranded.

Just like Paypal, digital currency is digital money — a wallet to wallet transaction which negates the use of banks. Banks themselves are catching on, JP Morgan has just launched their own digital currency, JPM coin.

“What Volavia has done,” said Green, “is set up a platform that will allow people to pay via digital currency. Allowing transfer from any currency — pounds, dollars, euros — into digital currency, like Bitcoin or Lite coin, and then transfer that money instantly to an operator.”

The fee is distributed automatically from client to broker, to operator, to fuel company, to FBO, to MRO — across the whole network involved in the flight. The transaction can be made 24/7 all year round anywhere with a Wi-Fi connection.

Crytocurrency markets can be volatile. How do you secure the value of the digital currency in the time between the transaction date and the flight? Green told delegates Volavia is in the process of creating its own digital currency which will be backed against a number of stable markets like the dollar, euro and yen. Meaning it would take simultaneous global collapse to completely devalue Volavia’s currency.

Security is paramount. Digital currency is secured by blockchain, an encryption that is virtually impenetrable. This could “revolutionise payment protocols,” said Green. For all the technological advancements in avionics and aircraft engineering, he has been left frustrated at the slow pace of embracing technological change to payment processes.

With fraud so prevalent and the risk of hacking arguably at an all-time high, Green argues there is no better time to begin this transition. The company is currently in its second round of funding, with an estimated launch in the first quarter of 2021.

One way to ensure improved payment protocol is through e-billing, which is constructed through code. In layman’s terms, Green explained, “It’s as if I tore up a piece of paper into seven million pieces which means that nobody could understand, except you because I give you a code which will put it all back together again so you can read it. That’s what blockchain is, it’s not scary.”

Next week’s edition of CJI Town Hall can be signed up for now and is being hosted on a new platform, AirMeet. This week’s edition featured sessions from Adam Twidell, CEO, PrivateFly; Charles Porteous, President, Seefeld Group; Greg Johnson, President and CEO, Tuvoli; Janine Iannarelli, Founder & President, Par Avion and Francisco Zozaya Senior VP, Business Development, JSSI.

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