One of the most exciting propositions of the recent cryptocurrency explosion has been the development of new styles of business models with new ways for businesses to trade on their value and add value to their communities. With the ability to offer an efficient and affordable way to issue tokens and transact on the network, Elrond is poised to lead the crypto space in these new and cutting edge businesses.

This series will spotlight these businesses that are beginning to emerge on the Elrond network.

This article was originally published on Publish0x

The commercial Aviation industry is less than 100 years old with the first modern passenger airliner unveiled in 1933, and soon after, the industry quickly evolved into giant air busses and the go-to method for the international and long intra-national travel. In recent years economic and political whoas have wreaked havoc on this once promising new industry. Airlines have had to cut back services and cram more people into smaller spaces, while investors have seen their returns diminish significantly.

And all of this while in another sector of transport, new disruption has changed the way we access and use transportation within city centers overnight. Cab companies and public transportation has suddenly had to struggle against the convenience and efficiency of new upstarts like Uber and Lyft.

Enter Aerovek.

With new cryptocurrency business models emerging on Web 3.0, Aerovek seeks to upend a stale industry primed for fresh innovation. Utilizing the efficiency and developer friendly nature of the Elrond network, they offer a platform to connect private pilots with users seeking to charter flights. Territory that was once seen as the purview of the elite is about to become available to everyone, and at rates that are competitive with traditional airline companies. Transactions will take place using Aerovek’s token $AERO, leveraging the speed and efficiency of the Elrond network .

So how do they get there from where they are now? Earlier this year Aerovek launched their web application where they posted a summary of their business plan. According to this, they plan to be up and running with their charter as early as next year (2022). Leading up to this they plan to launch a social media platform, a wallet app, and an NFT marketplace with each of these being integral to their business model.

Social Media Platform

The site was launched in mid 2021 while still in beta, encouraging users to come test its functionality, report bugs, and sometimes earning $AERO for their trouble. It functions similar to Twitter, allowing people to post stories, images, videos, and leave comments. An additional feature was also implemented, allowing users to tip each other using a secondary token called $ATIP. This was distributed to early users for posting interesting content, and especially content surrounding aviation or Elrond. The token is to be fully community owned and is intended as an incentive to use the platform.

Wallet

As Aerovek is using an ESDT token (that’s Elrond Standard Digital Token) for its medium of exchange, it was necessary for them to create what I believe may be the first crypto wallet capable viewing and transferring tokens on Elrond. It features a beautiful interface with a colorful pie chart displaying the breakdown of tokens in your wallet and logo images for every token that has registered one with them. The wallet works in conjunction with Elrond’s Maiar wallet.

NFT Marketplace

You may be wondering what an NFT even is let alone a marketplace. And I hope that’s the case because it means this article has reached beyond the Elrond community and even outside of the crypto-sphere. For those out of the loop, an NFT (Non-Fungible Token) is a token that is unique, one of a kind, and near impossible to duplicate. What this means is that by pinning something to this token, be it digital or even physical, we can establish ownership simply by possessing it in a wallet. Ownership can then also be transferred to someone else as easily as sending a text. This innovation has so far been used primarily for art and other digital aspects but their use case extends far beyond that and I believe we have not yet begun to scratch the surface.

As far as Aerovek is using NFTs, they will be issuing them to their pilots who will be able to then own a digital copy of their license and viewing these will be accessible to anyone looking to book their services. The full implementation will include a thin aluminum business card with their information etched into it and a QR code and anyone will be able to scan.

NFTs will also be attached to property related to aviation, allowing users to transact and even hold auctions . According to their summary, “The Marketplace allows any user to post Aircraft, Aircraft Parts and Accessories for sale similar to facebook marketplace.” All of these transactions will also take place using their token $AERO.

The marketplace is still under development at the time of writing.

Flight Charter

This will all lead up to the release of their flight charter in 2022 that will allow users of their platform to charter private flights at rates that rival traditional airlines and with fuel economy that rivals ground vehicles and powered by the $AERO token. Imagine going for a business meeting or a weekend getaway or an epic cross country adventure and being back before work on Monday. Imagine being able to do this and not spend a fortune on gas, not sweating through a crowded airport, not being hassled by the TSA. When you charter your own private flight it is expected to be cheaper and at a private airport; no clocks to beat, no crowds or security to survive. This is the future Aerovek is trying to manifest with their charter.

Staking Agency

In order to get the funding to build all of this, recently Aerovek has established a staking agency on the Elrond network. Staking is one of the innovations of cryptocurrency and allows holders of any amount to participate in running and securing the network. Using a staking model, what used to be the accessible only to people who could afford warehouses full of expensive super computers is now open to anyone at all who wants to participate and earn income on their savings.

How this all works (briefly), is that a holder of a network’s currency (in this case of Elrond. $EGLD), are eligible to “delegate” their coins with a “validator.” This is called staking and stakers (or delegators) are paid out a portion of the network’s fees according to the size of their stake. Validators receive these rewards when one of their nodes is chosen by the network to process transactions. This can lead to very lucrative returns for those involved that rival other instruments offered by traditional finance. In creating a staking agency, Aerovek is positioning themselves in the beating heart of the Elrond Network and using this to fuel their growth.

In order to quickly scale up to a proper size, large enough to take advantage of all of this, Aerovek offers additional incentives to attract delegators to not only encourage them to stake, but also to stake long term. This comes in the form of the first dual token staking rewards system on the Elrond Network where participants will not only receive the usual $EGLD (albeit at a lower rate while the agency is growing) but also the $AERO token, allowing those who believe in the future of this company to benefit along with it’s growth. At the time of this writing they have also partnered with the NFT artist Gnogen, who will be providing special airdrops of their NFTs to long term delegators. The details of how this will work and what exactly will be received is still forthcoming.

The case for Aerovek

Personally I think there is something romantic about a road trip but between gas prices skyrocketing and climate change, efficient means of travel are becoming more and more attractive. A private flight on a Cessna is more fuel efficient than ground vehicles and takes less time to travel greater distances. It may be tough to beat.

According to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, flights average around $280 per hour. The average cost of a private Cessna flight can be as low as $180, depending on the aircraft. Read that again.$280 for a seat on a crowded airliner with all that is involved with modern air travel or, $180 to rent a private Cessna and travel at the ease of your own schedule out of a small private airport. That’s $180 total, for all passengers. With 4 people this would come out to be $45 per person. These prices can scale with aircraft type and how many passengers you have with you but remain competitive with commercial airlines and is an option few of us knew even existed.

Aerovek seeks to open this market up to the average traveler while also rewarding pilots who choose to use their services to charter flights. This is done through an organizational structure made possible by cryptocurrency called a DAO (Decentralized Autonomous Organization). With a DAO structure we are no longer in the top down hierarchical model of a traditional corporation who has an obligation to secure profits for stockholders whom have no stake or direct participation in the business other than the money that they invested, and we enter a flat structure where everyone who participates in the functioning of the business has some stake in and rights of governance over where the company is headed. For Aerovek this will be The Pilot Ambassador DAO.

Pilots in the Aerovek system will have a say in what the company does. On the roadmap it says they will be marketing the platform internationally, but when asked about it I was told that precisely when and where will depend on the where the pilots happen to be located and what they collectively decide. The employees will have direct participation in the governance of their company. The details of how this will work are still to be released but the emergence of this style of organization, that puts people first, is very exciting. With what Uber and Lyft did to the ground transit industry, perhaps we will see a rush to become licensed pilots in our future, and maybe a global one.

I’m looking forward to checking back in with Aerovek in a year and see how they have progressed.

Environmantal Impact

With the climate crisis looming on the horizon, I think it is important to consider the potential environmental impact of thousands more airplanes zipping around the airways. The stated target market for Aerovek at this time is for “shorter get aways and business trips.” These are not the private jets of our politicians and billionaires, which have been noted as outsized contributors to greenhouse gas emissions. The smaller more fuel efficient Cessna is more efficient than commercial airliners, and even more than an automobile. Plus, while automobiles move towards hybrid and fully electric vehicles, it seems that Cessna may not be far behind.

The green technology boom is only beginning to kick off and many have high hopes that we will all find success there in reducing emissions. While it isn’t clear where that will go, and what automobiles will look like in the coming years, it is possible we will see new innovations in private aviation as well, as this form of transportation gets more attention. At the present time though, it is possible that more passengers out of commercial airliners and off of the roads may turn out to be beneficial for all of us in the short term.

To learn more about Aerovek and their $AERO token:
Website: aerovek.com
Twitter: @AerovekAviation
Facebook: facebook.com/aerovek
Telegram: aerovekaviation

Disclosures: While I do not receive direct compensation for any of my Spotlight articles, I personally hold some $AERO tokens.

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