Non-fungible tokens have been growing in popularity since 2020, particularly in the digital art world. They have created a new market and attracted many investors worldwide. As they grow more popular, there is a higher demand for NFTs, and the NFT market is motivated to make these digital assets more available in the physical world. No surprise that the NFT market makes use of early technologies, such as vending machines, to satisfy the demand in the market.
NFT vending machines, which were first introduced in Europe, make it easier for NFT lovers to step into the NFT world without having any specialized knowledge of blockchain technology or digital wallets. These vending machines allow customers to choose from NFT collections even if it is their first encounter with NFTs, and they do not own a digital wallet to pay the price in cryptocurrencies.
In the following, we will introduce NFT vending machines, their application, and the location of NFT vending machines available around the world.
What are NFT Vending Machines?
The first coin-operated machines appeared in the 1880s to make buying newspapers, postcards, and snacks easier. Now, in the 2020s, vending machines are expanded in usage to serve the NFT market.
NFT vending machines provide an easy and accessible way for people who want to start buying and trading digital assets with no need for a deep knowledge of cryptocurrency, blockchain, and the Web3 industry. These NFT machines make it even easier to buy an NFT since they allow users to purchase an NFT without owning a digital wallet.
Hugo McDonaugh, CEO of the multichain NFT marketplace myNFT, sees vending machines as the most accessible way to buy anything. He argues that the idea of an NFT vending machine breaks the perception that it is difficult to buy an NFT, and it requires a deep understanding of blockchain and cryptocurrency technologies.
All you need to do to purchase an NFT from an NFT vending machine is to select an envelope on display, pay the price, open the envelope, and scan the QR code it contains. You are directed to a website that requires you to create an account and enter the digits printed on the envelope to mint your NFT. That’s all; you own an NFT!
NFT vending machines have gotten more popular recently, so the number of NFT machines is increasing. They are available now in New York, London, and Tokyo.
First NFT Vending Machine
The first NFT vending machine was created by Neon, the Solana blockchain-based NFT marketplace and digital collection platform, in February 2022 in New York City’s Financial District close to Wall Street. Jordan Birnholtz, CMO and co-founder of Neon, said that they created the first NFT vending machine to make it easier to buy an NFT without needing the knowledge of cryptocurrency or blockchain. He argues that the machine enables artists to sell their art to anyone who wants to become a collector.
Neon’s NFT vending machine accepts USD credit and debit cards as well as any online payment to easily buy an NFT. The machine dispenses a box with a unique code inside, which is the key to minting an NFT on the Neon platform.
Creating the NFT vending machine, Neon has built the simplest, easiest way to buy an NFT with no cryptocurrency, crypto wallet, or specialized knowledge required. The vending machine is open 24 hours a day. The customers have no idea about the NFT they will purchase since the NFT vending machine choose a box for them. Birnholtz believes that: “NFT buying and selling doesn’t need to be a mystery and you shouldn’t be required to hold Ethereum, write a smart contract, pay gas costs or bridge blockchains to participate.”
Cities with NFT Vending Machines
As mentioned above, NFT vending machines have made it easier to buy an NFT with no need for particular knowledge of cryptocurrency and blockchain. The ease of buying NFTs along with the increase in the demand for digital tokens has made the concept of NFT vending machines more popular so that more cities in the world are now host to NFT vending machines. Here is the list of pioneer cities with NFT vending machines:
1. New York
Neon built the first-ever NFT vending machine in New York. Located in the financial district of Manhattan, the very first NFT vending machine sells small boxes containing a code to mint an NFT on their NFT platform. There are two types of boxes: “color” for $5.99 and a “party pigeon” for $420.69.
The NFT marketplace platform myNFT launched the first European NFT vending machine in London to make digital tokens more accessible for consumers and allow them to easily acquire NFTs without having a digital wallet.
The NFT vending machine is located outside of the Queen Elizabeth II Centre in London. Customers can purchase an NFT for only £10.
Paying the price, the NFT vending machine gives the customer an envelope that includes the print of a unique code for the chosen NFT. The code is redeemable on the myNFT platform. McDonaugh, the CEO and co-founder of my NFT, sees so much potential in the NFT market and argues that various unnecessary and complicated barriers, such as blockchain and gas fees, should not stop individuals from diving into the NFT world. He believes that NFT vending machines can make it easier to buy an NFT.
Tokyo has the largest number of vending machines, so there is no surprise to find NFT vending machines there. As an example, Japanese artist Masahide Matsuda who launched his first NFT project, “The Laughing Man”, also built an NFT vending machine. Through this vending machine, everyone can purchase tickets for “The Laughing Man” and Masahide Matsuda’s exhibition, as well as tags for distributing NFTs.
4. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
In September 2022, in conjunction with Malaysia Day, ATLAS Vending launched the first-of-its-kind NFT vending machine in the capital city of Kuala Lumpur. The NFT vending machines showcased the NFTs of 13 local NFT artists and sold their unique artworks that incorporated local art and culture. There was a total of 13 NFT vending machines, each containing a total of 300 rare NFT artworks.
How Much is a Crypto ATM Worth?
Crypto automated teller machines (ATMs) are stand-alone electronic kiosks that allow users to buy and sell cryptocurrency in exchange for cash or with a debit card. All crypto ATMs sell Bitcoin, while some also offer other cryptocurrencies. Bitcoin ATMs may cost between $3000 to $14,500, depending on the model.