Neon, a digital art collecting platform, has unveiled the world’s first in-person non-fungible token (NFT) vending machine in New York City, with the goal of making online art as accessible as soda or candy.
What’s the catch? You have no idea what kind of digital art you’ll end up buying.
“It’s the crypto inquisitive,” Neon CEO Kyle Zappitell said of the vending machine’s target client in an interview with Reuters. “They tried to buy bitcoin or they were interested in buying an NFT, but they just encountered too many roadblocks.”
It appears like a regular vending machine, but it offers QR codes on slips in small paper boxes. It’s located in a modest storefront in Lower Manhattan’s financial sector with a sign outside saying “NFT ATM.” The prices of the drops range from $5.99 to $420.69.
The user can view their new work of art on any smartphone, laptop, or tablet after scanning the QR code.
The codes at the Lower Manhattan location lead to two types of digital art pieces: a colour or a picture of a pigeon.
The element of mystery, according to Zappitell, is a natural extension of the digital art environment.
“As a NFT collector, over time, one of the things you love is the randomness of, ‘Which one are you going to get?'” he said. “So that’s one of the exciting aspects.”
The Solana blockchain underpins the art pieces sold in the vending machine, ensuring carbon-neutral transactions.
While most digital art is sold using cryptocurrency, Neon’s vending machine takes fiat currency, and you can pay with a credit card.
Neon says it plans to expand its vending machine network in malls and other public locations, starting with a $3 million startup investment.
“How it’s employing old world technology to enable the adoption of new world technology,” Zappitell added, “is one of the most compelling messages of this.”