Major $3 Billion Discount Airline AirAsia Mulls ICO
Discount airline AirAsia is mulling an initial coin offering (ICO) to help finance its expansion into the financial services industry.
$3 Billion Discount Airline AirAsia Mulls ICO
Speaking with TechCrunch, AirAsia CEO Tony Fernandes laid out a plan for the $3 billion company to develop a proprietary cryptocurrency that could replace its current “Big Loyalty” rewards program and serve as a native currency on the firm’s nascent financial services platform.
AirAsia, which currently has about 65 million customers, believes that expanding into financial services will allow it to crack the 100 million customer mark. In addition to “cashless cabins,” the company intends to offer loans and insurance services targeted at small business owners.
Fernandes said that the company is considering funding this expansion through an ICO since it would mitigate the risks and up-front costs AirAsia faces as it launches the new service.
Established Firms Turn to Cryptocurrency, ICOs to Fund Expansion and Revamp Platforms
AirAsia is the latest in a small group of established firms to consider launching their own cryptocurrencies.
As CCN reported, Japanese e-commerce and tech conglomerate Rakuten has announced that it will launch its own cryptocurrency to replace its current rewards program, although the company has not said whether it will hold an ICO.
Encrypted messaging platform Telegram has also reportedly raised more than $850 million to build a blockchain ecosystem and may be targeting as much as $2 billion.
Even Kodak — a storied photography pioneer that has fallen on troubled times in recent years — has licensed its brand to an ICO operator that aims to build a blockchain-based digital rights management (DRM) platform.
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