I’m writing this article in one of those airports which have recently become less crowded because of coronavirus fears. I have completed my travels across Belgrade, Northern Cyprus, Antalya, Afyonkarahisar and finally Ankara.
I fly so frequently that I wish we had Blockchain technologies right now. It’s not easy to make sure you don’t lose your passport considering that you have to show it many times in many control points including check-in desk, passport control, security check and screening. I watch poor people putting their passport in their bag and then grab it again to present it at one of these checkpoints, just to ensure that it doesn’t get lost.
The torture doesn’t end here. There are so many details designed to tire people up before the actual travel starts, for instance you are required to show your “departure fee” (something completely unique to Turkey) receipt, submit the form you had completed while you were flying, make sure that you don’t lose the white paper you had filled in and your identity card-that is if you’re traveling to Northern Cyprus as a Turkish Citizen. The fact that you have to go to points that are as away as possible from each other and there are absolutely no integration between any of them makes me think that these procedures can only be the product of an “hierarchy-obsessed” mind.
And that’s not it at all! If you’re a transit passenger, you are asked to provide numerous documents showing your employment status, health status etc. In developed countries, this data are digitally coded in the “visa” paper that is glued on the passport. For countries that absolutely require visa for traveling to the United States and EU, we have to furnish these papers one by one and submit them to the relevant offices. If the most current version of these data were uploaded to “servers”, it would help shorten the amount of time we spend handling visa, passport and application procedures.
But, why don’t things work like that? Well, they don’t because every institution, authority or country is so eager to create their own unique hierarchical control system. The United Kingdom, EU countries, the United States, Russia, Far East, the Arab World, they all have their own hierarchical rule sets. Who knows what peculiar types of hierarchy dominate Latin America and Africa?
Governments tend to deem an unprecedented event they experience “universal”, turn it to a new hierarchical torture and take every measure to ensure every passenger abide by this new rule. However, all the required information can be retrieved from the systems by means of “smart devices” and strong infrastructures without beign required to provide physical documents. The only thing we should do to make this happen is to create an interface. But apparently countries do not want to lose the pleasure of torturing people who want to travel; and that’s why they do not want to digitalize these procedures.
Keeping many data like biometric passport photos and health certificates anonymously and authentically on servers using Blockchain technology would not only shorten the amount of time passengers spend handling application procedures, but it would also help reduce the number of employees carrying out these particular tasks. But, we know that there are many companies making a lot of money off of these hierarchical procedures. The more things are complicated, the more money they make. Therefore, the persistence here has nothing to do with technological infrastructure; it is caused mostly by people’s desire to protect their personal interests and the state’s system eager to create rigid hierarchy.
I just hope that one day we will be able to travel visa-free without having to wait for hours, just showing our passport and passing though the security screening since all our information would be uploaded to the system. If this happens, tourism revenue would increase three-fold, even four-fold. I’m sure of it.