The World’s First NFT Vending Machine in New York City Dispenses Solana NFTs

Image source: Neon

Quick take:

  • The NFT vending machine operates 24 hours a day.
  • Solana NFTs can be bought with fiat using this vending machine.
  • Buyers will not know exactly which NFT they’re getting from the vending machine.

NFT marketplace Neon has launched the world’s first NFT vending machine in New York City. Located at 29 John St in Manhattan, the vending machine operates 24 hours a day and allows buyers to purchase Solana NFTs with fiat.

The idea for the NFT vending machine was conceived mid last year by Neon CMO and co-founder Jordan Birnholtz and his summer intern Drew Levine. The NFT vending machine was soft-launched six months later in December. Neon recently closed a $3 million seed round last month.

Birnholtz wanted to simplify the purchasing process of NFTs for non-crypto natives. Speaking to Decrypt, Birnholtz said: “My thought was that there is literally no simpler way to buy something than a vending machine. We built it because it shows how powerful and easy it can be to support digital artists, and to demystify the process of getting an NFT.”

Buyers can simply walk up to the vending machine any time of the day to buy an NFT and pay using Visa or Mastercard and via Samsung Pay or Apple Pay. The vending machine will dispense the item containing a QR code, which buyers will have to scan and claim the NFT online on the Neon marketplace.

However, the exact NFT will remain a mystery until it gets claimed online. Buyers can only pick a collection and punch in a number to dispense an NFT from their collection of choice. But buyers can get a glimpse of the NFTs on offer which are displayed on the walls of the little gallery right behind the vending machine.

The vending machine is currently dispensing NFTs from two collections: Party Pigeons and Project Color. Party Pigeons were created specifically for Neon while Project Color was specially commissioned for the NFT vending machine.

Birnholtz added that Neon started with fiat so the marketplace could bring NFTs to the masses. Though NFT collectors can purchase NFTs with credit cards on platforms that have integrated payment tools like MoonPay or on Coinbase’s upcoming marketplace which has partnered with Mastercard, buying an NFT can be intimidating for those new to Web 3.

Those who don’t have access to fiat payment tools on NFT marketplaces would have to buy cryptocurrency on an exchange, transfer it to a crypto wallet then connect that wallet to the marketplace in order to buy an NFT. Gas fees or wrapped cryptocurrency can also be a deterrent.

Birnholtz says that Neon is looking to expand its vending machine locations and add more artists to its roster. Many of the artists currently on Neon’s waitlist learned about the company after stumbling upon the NFT vending machine. 

The marketplace is also planning to accept crypto payments later this year.

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