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MAR 16, 2024

Indian railways to explore NFT ticketing during Holi festival

by CoinNess Global

As part of the celebration of Holi, the Hindu festival of colors, the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) is unveiling a series of colorful NFT tickets for the Lucknow to Delhi train service.
Governed by the Ministry of Railways, IRCTC is a central public sector enterprise in India. Taking to the X social media platform on March 13, the railway company offered a sneak peek into these NFTs, showcasing sketches of iconic landmarks from both Delhi and Lucknow against vividly shaded backgrounds.

Limited-time ticketing offering

Commencing March 20, passengers booking tickets for Tejas trains numbered 82501 and 82502 will have the opportunity to access these exclusive NFTs, with the initiative set to conclude on April 2. In its social media post, the IRCTC outlined the additional perks accompanying these NFT tickets, stating:"These tickets are not merely digital souvenirs. ... They symbolize our dedication to enriching your journey experiences, allowing you to personalize your travel memories with your own photographs and enjoy exclusive offers from handpicked brands."
As of now, the IRCTC has not officially confirmed whether these NFT tickets will be complimentary with ticket purchases or if passengers will need to make additional payments to acquire these digital collectibles.

Polygon and Hyperledger

NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, are digital assets built on blockchain networks. Earlier this year, the IRCTC collaborated with NFTtrace, a service offered by Bangalore-based blockchain development firm ChainCode Consulting, to offer NFT tickets for journeys to the Hindu sacred city of Ayodhya.
The tickets were presented as more than mere travel documents but as cherished mementos of divine experiences. The NFTtrace website stated:"More than just a ticket to Ayodhya Dham - a souvenir of the divine Shree Ramotsav. Treasure the pious memories of Lord Shree Rama's arrival forever, with Blockchain NFT.”
On that occasion, the NFT certificates were minted on the Polygon blockchain. Indian Railways has been exploring blockchain technology for some time now. Last March, the National Academy of Indian Railways partnered with Polygon to conduct a workshop aimed at raising awareness about the benefits of blockchain in railway industries. Polygon outlined that the integration of blockchain within the Indian railway system was the beginning of a new era that moves the technology towards mass adoption.In this latest instance, the NFTtrace platform is involved once again. However, this time around, the NFTs will be minted on the Hyperledger blockchain.
Ava Labs, the developer of the Avalanche layer one blockchain, has expressed its interest in developing ticketing-related blockchain applications in India. Last October the firm highlighted blockchain-based ticketing as one of a number of areas it wanted to concentrate on in an expansion within India.
Conventional firms in the travel industry have been experimenting with the technology on an ongoing basis in recent times. In 2023 Japan’s largest airline All Nipon Airways (ANA) launched its own NFT marketplace. Argentinian budget airline Flybondi took the decision to offer NFT-based tickets in 2023 in a partnership with NFT ticketing firm TravelX.
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