But that kind of research takes time, and what you can find online isn’t always accurate. What if instead of wasting time on travel research, you could rely on a local who knew the area to set you up with a fun and authentic trip itinerary? Cool Cousin aims to revolutionize the trillion-dollar travel industry by connecting travelers with locals who can give reliable advice on where to go and what to see.
How Cool Cousin Works
Interested travelers can download the Cool Cousin app on their phones. Local-written guides are available for every destination. For instance, those who are planning a visit to London can choose from a list of local user profiles.
These “cousins” are actual human beings and not bots. They have their own fields of expertise and inclinations. They can even answer questions. The key is to find one that matches your own personality. For example, those who are looking for nice low-key restaurants may browse for budget-conscious foodies. Others might be searching for the recommendations of a night owl or an art buff.
Once you’ve figured out what you want to do, you can book through the app.
It’s a cool concept, but it presents a couple of challenges. First, it’s reliant on good user-generated content. How can you ensure that that content keeps coming in. Second, it’s susceptible to bias and misuse: how can you ensure that people aren’t using the platform for marketing instead of making genuine recommendations. Third, using the app as a middle-man introduces overhead, especially as the company grows. How can you scale and keep booking prices low while still keeping the lights on?
Enter the blockchain. All of the considerations noted above can be addressed.
The CUZ Token
Cool Cousin’s solution to these issues is an ERC20 token, CUZ, that it’s currently offering this month in public presale, with a full-scale ICO planned for April.
Establishing a blockchain economy for its community, Cool Cousin says, will enable it to scale smoothly and affordably while confronting the challenges mentioned above. The CUZ token can be used as a reward to encourage community participation and content submission. Blockchain identity verification can prevent bad actors from misusing the platform. And blockchain-based community governance can allow the company to scale smoothly and affordably while giving users a voice in the process and empowering them to weed out scammers and reward the best contributors.
Of course, the CUZ token will also be useful for making payments within Cool Cousin’s ecosystem without worry about fees, delayed transactions, or third-party payment integrations and issues. For example, a local “cousin” could offer paid concierge services in return for CUZ tokens (with Cool Cousin taking a small commission), or they could offer travel-agent style booking services – again, payable directly with CUZ.
If any of that sounds interesting, here are the details of the ICO: The CUZ token will be limited to 300,000,000 units, purchasable exclusively with ETH. The exchange rate is pegged at 1 ETH for 3,770 CUZ, with a minimum purchase value of 0.1 ETH. At current ETH prices, that means 1 CUZ is worth about $0.16.
Only a third of the tokens have been set aside for the Initial Coin Offering. The rest are allocated as follows: 24% reserved for future operations, 25% reserved for the community, 10% reserved for team compensation, and 8% for bounties, advisor compensation, and early supporters.
More Than Hypothetical
Cool Counsin’s blockchain integration is in its infancy, so like many blockchain projects, we’ll have to wait and see how it goes. But the app itself has already proven that it has real-world value.
Since its founding in early in 2016, Cool Cousin has quickly ramped up funding and operations, covering more than 60 cities across the globe with a strong army of cousins in each of them. By Q2 of 2017, it had over 200,000 users.
Today, more than half a million people have used the app for their own vacations. That growth rate is phenomenal at 220% from July 2017 to Jan 2018. Interaction between Cousins and have also been rising at a rate of 310%, indicating that Cool Cousin’s approach to the travel industry has real appeal.
The company has already raised $2 million in a seed round from Elevator Fund, but the hope is that the ICO can help propel Cool Cousin to the next level while also enabling it to avoid bias and forge a path that is driven in part by its active and growing community utilizing blockchain technology and cryptocurrency.
By the end of the year, the team hopes to ramp up its efforts at community building. It will establish a Board of Representatives that will include members of the community and the company. It will represent the stakeholders to bridge any gaps and make important decisions. The board will also act as a tribunal for disputes regarding content and contracts.
Next year, business partners will be integrated into the system to enhance app offerings and provide more options for the users. By 2020, Cool Cousin hopes to be well on its way to mass adoption after four solid years of development. It’s a worthwhile concept that already has some traction and a convincing use case for its blockchain and token. This is definitely an ICO adventurous and travel-minded investors should take a look at.