Here is the vending machine selling NFT near you
I walked into the cramped booth in New York’s Financial District, pulled out my credit card, and prepared to make my purchase.
I wasn’t there for cigarettes, candy or condoms. I had come to this location at 29 John Street to buy NFT or non-fungible tokens from what is billed as the world’s first NFT vending machine.
‘NFT for sale here’
Neon, an NFT marketplace and gallery built on the Solana blockchain, operates the vending machine, which is open 24 hours a day – just enough to satisfy those late-night NFT cravings.
There is a neon sign on a window with an inscription saying “NFT ATM”. On the other window, an inscription encourages people to “buy colors, buy pigeons”.
As I walked through the curtain of plastic strips at the door, I felt this funky, vaguely illicit vibe of the place.
The tiled walls and dim lighting made me feel like I was in a club at 2am when it wasn’t even noon yet.
Above the machine were the words “NFT For Sale Here” spray painted in some sort of faux-graffiti style.
I had the option of purchasing Party Pigeons, a digital art collection created by artist Typfy for Neon, for $420.99; or Project Color, a randomly selected color that shoppers can buy, sell, and trade to create a collage, for $5.99.
I decided to go for a color.
“Please make your choice,” an automated voice told me.
“Breaking Down Some Barriers”
It took me a few tries, but I managed to get my color. Inside the box was a strip of paper asking me to scan the QR code and redeem the NFT.
The vending machine, which had a soft launch in December, accepts credit and debit cards and dispenses a box with a unique code inside for the chosen NFT, which is redeemable on the Neon platform.
“The idea behind creating the vending machine was to make NFTs accessible to those who weren’t sure what exactly NFTs, crypto, blockchain, etc. entail,” said Jordan Birnholtz, chief marketing officer and co-founder of Neon. an email. “This serves as an experiential marketing effort to change the perception of NFTs.”
The project is designed, he said, “to break down some of the barriers to entry for new audiences by allowing them to buy with a credit or debit card as well as thinking about digital collectibles. in a physical sense and de-stigmatizing some of the current polarization.”
Users can still buy NFTs online through Neon’s digital marketplace, he said, “the vending machine is just another way to buy, not the only one.”
“Buying and selling NFTs doesn’t have to be a mystery and you shouldn’t be required to hold Ethereum, write a smart contract, pay gas fees, or link blockchains to participate,” Birnholtz said.
Neon, which closed a $3 million seed round earlier this year, is expanding vending machines to a handful of cities this summer.
“One of our goals for building the vending machines is to get artists to sell on Neon, in our machines and on our website, and most of the artists on our waiting list just saw the location of New York,” Birnholtz said.
“This concept is epic”
Reaction to the concept on Twitter seemed to lean towards the negative when last checked, but there were encouraging words as well.
“Make sure the #crypto folks check out @neon_gallery when you’re in town,” one person said. “This concept is epic and I can’t wait to see what’s next. I just picked up three #NFT ‘Project Color’ and hopefully soon a ‘Party Pigeon’ 😎. I love it!”
“Nice idea!” a person noted.
“What’s that old line?” another one the person commented. “No one has ever gone bankrupt by underestimating the intelligence of the American people.”
“The vending machine – bric-a-brac distributor since 1883”, someone else tweeted.
A Guardian reporter recently described his experience with the machine, where an NFT he purchased got stuck in the machine and the second produced an empty square.
“Colonel Sanders was rejected 1,009 times before he finally pitched KFC and watch it now!” neon replied on Twitter. “Come back and visit us and we’ll be sure to be the KFC of the NFT world.”
Another Twitter user described a similar experience with the NFT coming out of the machine, but still gave the stand a positive review.
“It was actually a really cute experience,” said the the person tweeted“except for one of the boxes that wasn’t deploying properly (however, Neon was super responsive on twitter and fixed it ASAP!) You get a real little box with a card inside to redeem your nft !”
“Thank you for your valiant research efforts,” neon replied. “This data will be crucial for the scientific community. Godspeed.”