Page content


Digital Wallet - ITB Berlin Convention

The gap between theory and practice

April 7, 2022

About digital wallets and verifiable, decentralized identities

“Digital wallets and verifiable, decentralized identities” is a subject which really should be of interest to anyone working in travel and hospitality, or any industry where buyers and sellers need data from each other for the transaction to take place, or any industry which supports an ecosystem which has allowed intermediaries to earn a cut by connecting those buyers and sellers.

The subject was talked about at this year’s ITB Berlin Convention, and the panel session has been posted onto a dedicated YouTube channel. It’s well worth a listen (or should that be view?) for anyone who like an introduction to something which is already starting to happen. Digital wallets are gaining traction, and the digital COVID passes are an example of how new technologies are being accepted by travelers and the industry alike.

I’ve been involved in decentralisation for several years and the industry is moving beyond proof of concept and into live implementations. Adoption at scale is on the horizon.

What I enjoyed about the session – and why I am recommending it – is that the conversation was focused on how digital wallets and decentralisation can remove many current traveler and travel provider pain points. Specific use cases, value propositions and calls to action were also discussed.

I also liked how the tech back end for digital wallets and decentralisation was barely mentioned. My mantra has always been that the technology – Linux, HTML, blockchain or whatever – is an enabler. Businesses identify the use case and the enablement can be ‘outsourced’ to people who are experts in the tech being applied – inhouse or external.

(Red) hats off to moderator Lea Jordan for asking the questions many in the industry would like answering. And to the assembled experts for keeping it real – Jamie Smith from Evernym (involved in developing the IATA Travel Pass); Francois Blanc from Amadeus’ Traveler ID (currently used by c 25 airlines), Florian Daniel, CIO of Deutsche Hospitality (working on a big public/private project with the German government) and Nick Price (head of the travel and hospitality special interest group at the Decentralised Identity Foundation).

One outcome of COVID is that we are all now spoilt for choice when it comes to catch-up content. But in a crowded field, I think this session is well worth 27 minutes of your time. Let me know if there is anything you’d like to pursue further – I can even get in deep to the tech if you really really want me to?

Author: Don Birch, CEO, Simard Ou,

Press Contact: Charlotte Lamp Davies, +44 7792083657,