$SOL: This New York Vending Machine Sells Solana-Powered NFTs

The Solana-powered non-fungible token (NFT) marketplace Neon has launched its first NFT vending machine in New York City. 

According to a report by Decrypt, Neon soft-launched its first NFT vending machine in December 2021. The machine, located at 29 John St in Manhattan, is now operating 24 hours a day, giving collectors access to the purchase of Solana NFTs in exchange for fiat. 

Neon co-founder and CMO Jordan Birnholtz told Decrypt that he originally came up with the idea for an NFT vending machine in mid-2021 with the help of summer intern Drew Levine. He explained the company’s goal was to make purchasing NFTs as easy as possible:

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.

The vending machine operates by allowing users to purchase an NFT with Visa, Mastercard, Samsung Pay or Apple pay. The customer then receives a dispensed item containing a QR code that allows them to claim the NFT online. 

While buyers can’t directly pick their NFT, they are able to select from a collection, with the actual NFT being dispensed in a surprise reveal. The report claims the vending machine works similar to an online NFT minting process, which involves collectors blind-purchasing tokens without knowing exactly which item they will receive. 

Birnholtz said the decision to accept fiat was in an effort to bring NFTs to the largest possible audience. However, the company intends to begin accepting crypto as payment later in the year. 


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