A blockchain marketplace and gallery company called Neon has erected an NFT vending machine in the Financial District in New York City.
Wait, what? How can you purchase an NFT from a vending machine? Excellent question.
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The process isn't entirely end-to-end. You can make a purchase from the machine with your credit card, and then receive a unique code for your NFT which you can redeem on Neon's website. Brilliant marketing, to be honest.
With prices ranging from $5.99 to $420.69 (specific), the codes are delivered on slips of card inside little boxes that look a bit like cigarette packets, and if you make a purchase you will have no idea what you're buying.
Image © Neon
The QR code you receive in your mystery box is redeemable for an NFT artwork on the Neon site, and you won't know what you've bought until you redeem it.
This pretty much sums up the 'novelty factor' surrounding NFT artwork at the moment; it seems like curious buyers are putting more regard into the fact that they own an NFT, and are less bothered about what the artwork actually is.
Image © Neon
Neon CEO Kyle Zappitell told Reuters “It’s the crypto curious, the people who tried to buy cryptocurrency or they were interested in buying an NFT, but they just hit too many barriers.
“As an NFT collector, over time, one of the things you love is the randomness of, ‘Which one are you going to get?’ So that’s one of the exciting aspects.”
However, the new technology still seems to suffer at the hands of older technology, as when a Guardian journalist headed down to use the machine, they purchased their redeemable code which then wouldn't drop out of the vending machine, just like so many candy bars we never got the chance to love.
When said Guardian journalist had redeemed an NFT, they were left a little peeved at the fact they then couldn't do anything with it other than list it for sale.
Neon's co-founder told the journalist: “That is correct. You are buying it to show it off. We make no promise of future value. I would never sell something to someone as, oh, this is a great investment. That’s bullshit. I think you should buy something if you like it and you connect with it.”
This is the world we live in.