Solana NFT marketplace Neon places vending machines in New York City

  • Neon’s NFT vending machines aim to make it seamless to buy NFTs using credit cards, Apple Pay, as well as Google pay.
  • Neon breaks the barrier to entry for NFT purchasing by removing any mandatory requirements of holding crypto and connecting it to wallets.

NFTs are coming next to vending machines near you, thanks to Solana-based NFT marketplace Neon. The NFT marketplace which raised $3 million in a seed round last month said that the company has soft-launched the first NFT vending machine last December 2021. As of now, users can spot this vending machine is located at 29 John St in Manhattan.

Currently, the vending machine is available 24-hours a day and will allow collectors to buy Solana NFTs via fiat currency. Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) as the name suggests are unique blockchain-based tokens used to signify the ownership of an asset.

NFTs have created a massive excitement over the last year with the Ethereum-based NFT marketplace OpenSea clocking $5 billion in NFT sales last month.

Related: Bank of America expects Solana to become the ‘Visa of crypto’

Jordan Birnholtz, Neon CMO and co-founder said that he came up with the idea of the NFT vending machine in mid-201 while working along with summer intern Drew Levine.

Besides, Briholtz said that he wants to make the NFT buying process absolutely seamless and as easy as possible. Speaking to a crypto publication, Birnholtz stated:

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.

Seamless purchase of NFTs

As said, Neon is making it as easy as possible for users to buy NFTs. Its brick-and-mortar method allows buyers to walk up to a vending machine and allows users to buy NFTs using Mastercard and Visa credit cards. It will also allow users to buy NFTs via Apple Pay and Samsung Pay mobile apps.

Later, the purchasers of NFT can use the smartphone’s camera to scan the QR code inside the dispensed item and thus claim your NFTs online. “Neon started with fiat because our mission is unique, to bring digital art and collecting to the largest possible audience,” Birnholtz said.

Currently, buying NFTs isn’t an easy task, especially for the new market players. Users first need to go to crypto exchanges, transfer their crypto to digital wallets and later connect these wallets to the online NFT marketplace. Furthermore, users might end up paying an additional gas fee for Ethereum assets and might also have to deal with wrapped cryptocurrency.

This shows that it is essential for a user to hold any form of crypto to buy and NFT. As of now, only 16 percent of Americans hold crypto. Neon’s NFT vending machine breaks this entry barrier allowing the rest 84 percent of the people to buy NFTs without holding crypto.

However, Neon also plans to accept crypto as a form of payment very soon. “We will accept crypto later this year and are building that now,” Birnholtz shared.

Expanding the NFT vending machine count

Neon said that it plans to add more NFT vending machines and artists going ahead. Birnholtz said: “We are expanding our vending machines to a handful of cities this summer. Having ironed out the technical challenges in dispensing and redeeming NFTs, we’re inviting artists and creators to feature their NFTs in our machines”.

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