The digital universe of NFTs is spilling into real life thanks to the Solana-based NFT marketplace Neon, which received a $3 million seed financing this month. However, in December, the business soft-launched the first NFT vending machine, which is located at 29 John St, Manhattan. However, collectors could buy Solana NFTs with fiat currency at the vending machine, which operates 24X7.
NFTs are one-of-a-kind blockchain-based tokens that represent asset ownership and have skyrocketed in popularity in recent months. Moreover, with Ethereum-based marketplace OpenSea reporting over $5 billion in last month, OpenSea has had its share of setbacks and lawsuits. However, competing markets are attempting to differentiate themselves from the competition.
Likewise, in mid-2021, Neon CMO and co-founder Jordan Birnholtz say that he and Drew Levine came up with an idea for the NFT vending machine. However, Birnholtz wants to make it as simple as possible to purchase an NFT.
I reasoned, “There is no easier method to buy something than through a vending machine.” Decrypt spoke with Birnholtz. However, “We created it to demonstrate how powerful and simple it can be to empower digital artists and to demystify the NFT process.”
Buyers can use Visa or Mastercard credit cards or the Samsung Pay or Apple Pay mobile apps to purchase an NFT at a vending machine utilizing Neon’s brick-and-mortar method. Furthermore, buyers then scan the QR code inside the distributed item with their smartphone camera to claim the NFT online.
“Neon began with fiat since our objective is unique: to deliver digital art and collecting to the broadest possible audience,” stated Birnholtz.
Especially for the new ones on Web3, obtaining an NFT can be daunting. However, users should use cryptocurrency exchanges to transfer their funds to digital wallets, which would be subsequently linked to an online marketplace. Also, other friction points can arise, such as having to pay gas fees for Ethereum assets or dealing with wrapped cryptocurrencies.
Despite the fact that cryptos and NFTs have become increasingly mainstream, they have yet to reach mass usage. Also, according to recent data, only 16% of Americans own cryptocurrency, and over 80% have a credit or debit card. Moreover, Neon’s vending machine allows the majority of the 84 percent of people who do not own cryptocurrency to try their hand at NFT ownership.
Neon, on the other hand, intends to accept cryptocurrency as a means of payment in the near future. Birnholtz said, “We plan to accept cryptocurrency later this year, and we’re working on it now.”
Visitors to Neon won’t know which NFT they’ll get, unlike at a conventional beverage or candy bar vending machine. Buyers can choose from a variety of collections and must punch in a number to receive a specific box, however, the boxes do not identify which NFT is being purchased. However, examples of the various NFTs available adorn the walls of the NYC facility, offering collectors a taste of what they’re getting into.
Here, Neon’s vending machine is more like a physical version of the online NFT minting procedure, which likewise entails blind-purchasing tokens without knowing which ones you’ll get.
Party Pigeons and Project Color are the two types of NFTs currently available for purchase on the machine. Artist Typfy created the Party Pigeons exclusively for Neon, and the Project Color NFTs were commissioned for the NYC vending machine project.
Neon is trying to expand its portfolio of vending machines and artists, according to Birnholtz.
Furthermore, “this summer, we’re bringing our vending machines to a few new cities. Also, we’re inviting artists and creators to display their NFTs in our machines now that we’ve figured out the technical problems of dispensing and redeeming NFTs,” Birnholtz added. Moreover, he added that many of the artists on Neon’s waitlist discovered the brand after stumbling across the NYC-based vending machine.
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