An Italian startup called Takyon is now selling vacation bookings as resellable NFTs, providing yet another new use case for NFTs that doesn’t involve expensive JPEGs. Vacations and travel bookings aren’t the first thing people would think about turning into tradable digital assets, but the idea has merit. NFTs (or ‘non-fungible tokens’) are digital items that can be owned and traded between users of a blockchain network, though they can also exist for non-transferrable utility purposes. They are closely associated with the digital collectibles industry, but this is a very tiny niche of what NFTs are capable of doing.
NFTs earned a negative public image in 2021 during the NFT craze that resulted in crypto fortunes being made by NFT speculators buying and flipping every new ‘expensive JPEG’ collection that dropped, and which eventually culminated in NFT prices crashing and people getting wrecked. Now that the hype is gone, NFT technology innovation can proceed, and new use cases can be created for them, rather than all the money flowing to the next over-hyped profile picture collection.
According to BeInCrypto, Takyon offers the ability to purchase non-refundable travel bookings in the form of an NFT. These bookings are sold for 20 percent cheaper, and they can be listed and resold on Takyon’s marketplace as late as one day before check-in, should plans suddenly change. Takyon focuses on vacations for Italy at this time, but the startup is looking to expand its network of partners and destinations users can choose from. Users do not need to own or create a crypto wallet, nor do they need to own any cryptocurrencies, and everything is handled with conventional Web2 technology and fiat currencies.
As NFTandGameFi explains, vacation plans can change suddenly and place vacationers or booking companies in a tough spot. Customers often take a complete loss on non-refundable vacation packages that they can’t use, or they have to pay more for a refundable vacation they may not need to refund. Takyon’s NFT vacations are non-refundable and 20 percent cheaper, and if plans are changed then vacationers can list their booking on the company’s online marketplace for someone else to buy, allowing them to recuperate some or all of their expense, or even turn a profit. Users do not need a crypto wallet or cryptocurrencies to take advantage of this feature.
While Takyon does state that the bookings are NFTs, there is no mention of blockchain technology. It is possible that there are no NFTs or Web3 technology involved at all, and what is being sold instead is a Web2 product that imitates NFT functionality. However, there isn’t much of an advantage to creating blockchain-native NFTs for travel bookings in the first place, other than being able to list them on NFT exchanges like OpenSea.
Either way, Takyon is innovating a new use case for NFT technology, whether they are using blockchain for it or not. They may be trying to lure in the crypto crowd for a product that otherwise does not need to use the term ‘NFT’ to be seen as a good idea. Given the win-win advantages present for both sides of the deal, it seems likely that Takyon may have pioneered a new approach to handling travel bookings, even if they aren’t using real NFTs.
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Source: BeInCrypto, Takyon, NFTandGameFi