The digital world of NFTs is bleeding into real life thanks to Solana-based NFT marketplace Neon, which closed a $3 million seed round last month. The company soft-launched the first NFT vending machine—located at 29 John St in Manhattan—back in December. Now, the vending machine is open 24 hours a day and allows collectors to buy Solana NFTs with fiat currency.
NFTs—unique blockchain-based tokens that signify ownership over an asset—have exploded in popularity recently, with Ethereum-based marketplace OpenSea claiming over $5 billion in sales last month. But OpenSea has faced its fair share of challenges and lawsuits. Competing NFT marketplaces are looking to offer something different to the average consumer.
Neon CMO and co-founder Jordan Birnholtz says he came up with the idea for an NFT vending machine with summer intern Drew Levine in mid-2021. Birnholtz wants to make buying an NFT as easy as possible.