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Blockchain Startup Gatechain Shortlisted for IATA Awards

A blockchain startup has been unveiled on this year’s shortlist for the Air Cargo Innovation Awards 2017, ahead of the International Air Transport Association’s annual prize-giving ceremony.

The organization, which represents the commercial aviation industry, has a track record of supporting blockchain developers, showing the extent to which it values their work and their innovations in shaping the future of their industry.

Zurich-based firm Gatechain has joined this year’s five-strong shortlist for the award. The company is developing blockchain models for trade finance, a solution that would replace what has traditionally been a cumbersome, paper-based process for businesses across different sectors.

The winner will be announced at the World Cargo Symposium in Abu Dhabi in March, with a cash prize to be presented on March 16 as the event gets into full swing.

The news comes as yet further recognition of the important contribution blockchain developers are making, and to a wide range of industries. Aside from their core use in financial services and banking, blockchains are expected to be hugely significant in the aviation industry, as well as a number of other key commercial and governmental sectors.

Gatechain’s nomination for this year’s awards is far from the first step IATA has taken in recognizing the importance of the blockchain. Aside from its own internal development projects, the organization has previously handed the cash prize to another blockchain company.

In 2016, Irish blockchain startup Travacoin was awarded by IATA, in recognition of its work in developing a blockchain solution for air passenger compensation and refunds.

This sits alongside the organization’s own efforts to develop blockchain-based solutions to a number of industry problems.

IATA is already known to be working on an in-house solution that would allow for the recording of biometric passenger data, as well as other key verification points for handling compliance around passenger identity and verification.

While blockchain technologies remain in their infancy, IATA is only one of a number of trade organizations and bodies already seriously exploring the impact this could have on a range of key business processes.

It remains to be seen whether Gatechain has done enough to scoop the prize. The winner will be announced at the outset of the World Cargo Symposium, starting on March 11.

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