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TECH TALK


has already sold one for Bitcoin) This is surely not an exhaustive


list, and our research probably missed a few companies. But the obvious point is that bitcoin and other such currencies are not widely adopted in aviation, even as the underlying technology of blockchain is gathering steam in asset tracking, cargo and documentation. Bitcoin May Not Survive, but


Cryptocurrencies Surely Will Bitcoin, Ethereum, LiteCoin and other competitors may not survive if the US, EU, China and other large countries decide to not allow their use. The main concerns are untracked criminal activities and tax dodging, either of which could sink this movement. A number of countries, such as Japan, have announced their acceptance of Bitcoin and certain


other such offerings, but, this is not universal.


The bigger question is what will


follow Bitcoin? Will the US or EU or China look at either working with it and its customer base, or, launch a competitor(s)? One of the possible outcomes is China creating a consortium of countries to create a new cryptocurrency to knock of the US dollar as world’s most dominant reserve currency (where China, Russia and others have long wanted to displace the dollar for various reasons, and now may be the time). This would impact US companies trading overseas negatively (and not to mention the US in general), but this is out of scope for an aviation industry article. We can conclude that


cryptocurrencies in general are a very


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niche offering at this time. We can also conclude that they are not going away, even if Bitcoin and other such existing products do not survive over time in their present form. In the meantime, the market for Bitcoin’s use will slowly grow, especially related to travel due to the possibility of reducing costs to its customers, but only if the price stabilizes from its unsustainable price fluctuations and more merchants come onboard. Aviation and other industries which operate globally will undoubtedly embrace any type of financial mechanism which will reduce transaction costs, especially those focused on currency handling or making transactions more frictionless, once this niche matures. Today is not that day, but it is coming. It is highly recommended that


everyone learn something about this topic area, since it is not going away. Welcome to the ever-increasing digitization of the world around us.


John Pawlicki is CEO and principal of OPM Research. He also works with Information Tool Designers (ITD),


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where he consults to the DOT’s Volpe Center, handling various technology and cyber security projects for the FAA and DHS. He managed and deployed various products over the years, including the launch of CertiPath (with world’s first commercial PKI bridge). John has also been onic FAA 8130-3 forms, as well as in defining digital identities with PKI. His recent publication, ‘Aerospace Marketplaces Report,’ which analyzed third-party sites that support the trading of aircraft parts, is available on OPMResearch.com as a PDF download, or a printed book version is available on Amazon.com.


INNOVATION


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