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Paying with a token is card 2.0

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I’m watching things every day, and am immersed in DeFi, CeFi, WiFi and HyFi (not forgetting ReFi), but I read something the other day and thought: WTF? Let’s share it.

Just bought an airplane ticket without having to add my name to it, and then I listed it to sell it back. This was through the TravelX protocol built in the Algorand Blockchain. I paid on 2 clicks using ApplePay through my MetaMask Ethereum Wallet. My ticket is an NFT. Science Fiction? No, this is the power of #RealAsset Tokenization. My Ticket is an NFT, and there is a Secondary Market for it. We are witnessing a next wave of use cases in web3 that will harness adoption of digital assets in a way we have not seen before.

The post is by Andrew A. Piscione, whose background includes an MBA with MIT and roles with a number of crypto companies.

The thing is, as I read it – bearing in mind that I also use MetaMask, Ethereum and more – I thought, no way. This is not the world I live in. Why would you buy a flight ticket as an NFT? It just appears that we are making money worse and more complicated. Specifically, taking Andrew’s post above, why do you want to pay for a flight ticket through so many channels, that the average person has no idea what they mean? You paid through MetaMask with Ethereum to get an NFT? Why didn’t you just pay with Visa or MasterCard?

Then I sat back and breathed.

Why didn’t you just pay with Visa or MasterCard?

As I breathed, I realised something.

I pay through MetaMask with Ethereum to get an NFT is the same as paying with Visa and MasterCard with an issuer through an acquirer.

I’ve got so used to the idea of card processing for payments that I couldn’t see the difference between paying with a card number online versus paying with a code (the Ethereum language source code is written in Solidity 0.4.0) to generate a token, an NFT, through a platform, MetaMask.

Then I woke up.

The world we know is no longer the world we know. The world has changed.

We live in a world where finance is being rebuilt for the networked universe. The old world of money is being replaced by the new world of tokens. After all, a dollar or euro is just a token of exchange. The same applies to an NFT. In fact, an NFT is better as it is non-fungible, as money is fungible. Our new world is one where I can pay digitally via platforms that provide anonymity, using an effective version of digital cash, and the whole structure is decentralised and distributed. Finally, my eyes are opened.

It makes you wonder where we are going and, my guess, is we are moving to a world of global connectivity of commerce, funded by tokens on blockchains that are non-fungible, and used as easily as cards and cash ... it makes you wonder what Visa and MasterCard are there for?

Chris Skinner Author Avatar

Chris M Skinner

Chris Skinner is best known as an independent commentator on the financial markets through his blog,, as author of the bestselling book Digital Bank, and Chair of the European networking forum the Financial Services Club. He has been voted one of the most influential people in banking by The Financial Brand (as well as one of the best blogs), a FinTech Titan (Next Bank), one of the Fintech Leaders you need to follow (City AM, Deluxe and Jax Finance), as well as one of the Top 40 most influential people in financial technology by the Wall Street Journal's Financial News. To learn more click here...

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