New York City's First NFT Vending Machine Just Launched in the Financial District

You can use a credit or debit card to buy a QR code redeemable for an NFT artwork.

Neon's NFT vending machine
Courtesy of Neon

Unsure where to start in the world of NFTs? Now it's (sort of) as simple as buying a candy bar.

NFT marketplace Neon recently launched what appears to be New York City's first NFT vending machine in Manhattan's Financial District. Located at 29 John Street, the pink and blue-hued vending machine accepts credit and debit cards. It sells customers a cardboard box with a QR code inside, which allows you to "mint" an NFT artwork on the blockchain via Neon's website.

According to a recent Guardian report, the machine currently dispenses "color" NFTs for $5.99 and "Party Pigeon" NFTs for $420.69 (yes, really). Both allow users to receive a digital non-fungible token (NFT) representing a certificate of ownership for their purchased artwork created by the blockchain. The color NFTs, of course, don't allow you to own a color, nor do the Party Pigeons let you physically own the grungy pigeons they're hawking.

"It's impossible to own a color," said Neon co-founder Jordan Birnholtz to Guardian. "What you own is a ledger on the Solana blockchain that represents that particular color. And we allow people to collect those colors to trade them, and sell them."

Neon's vending machine is meant to help first-time users enter the NFT world by allowing you to use dollars instead of crypto, but if the whole concept is still confusing to you, you're not alone

"Our goal is to support artists and creators by letting them sell digital art to everyone, and to help anyone who wants to become a collector," said Birnholtz in a press release. "Giving people the choice to use vending machines and an easy online platform that decouples cryptocurrency from NFT participation means we can engage the widest possible audience. NFT buying and selling doesn't need to be a mystery."

Head down to the Financial District to find New York's latest bizarre vending machine, and dip your toe into the world of NFTs. 

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Chris Mench is an editor focusing on NYC News at Thrillist. You can follow him on Twitter for more of his work.