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Major budget airline AirAsia to develop 'BigCoin'

Major budget airline AirAsia to develop 'BigCoin'

Popular budget airline Air Asia has announced its plans to step into the fintech sector with the launch of their own cryptocurrency 'BigCoin'.

AirAsia founder and chief executive Tony Fernandes emphasized on the plans to expand its approach into new market with the launch of BigCoin, in an interview with Nikkei Asian Review. The digital currency will see its own Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) as it remains to be seen whether AirAsia is going to develop its own blockchain or intends to use an existing blockchain platform for BigCoin.

Malaysia based AirAsia boasts of being south-east Asia's most prolific budget airline in terms of passenger traffic.

The airline would soon turn its frequent flyer points into BigCoin, Tony Fernandes said. He also added that the prices  of the tickets would be revealed on the website in BigCoin alongside price written in fiat currencies from this month.

Fernades sees the digital currencies as a tool for alleviating currency fluctuation risks from overseas revenue. He also told that after the launch, the customers would be able to use BigCoins to pay for meals during their flight, seat upgrades and other services within 3-6 months.

AirAsia announced "The Big", its FinTech program called in mid-2017 which intended to provide banking and financial services and facilitate in-flight purchases for over 60 million annual passengers. Last month, Fernandes asserted that they plan to put forward their own ICO (Initial Coin Offerings) that would expectedly curb the exchange and settlement risks.

Singapore Airlines in February, tapped blocktechnology for their frequent flyer program and it also announced its plan to deploy its own private blockchain following a successful proof-of-concept (PoC) with technology partners Microsoft and KPMG.