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Europe’s ‘first’ NFT machine gets cold reception in London

A neon purple vending machine dispensing non-functioning tokens for £10 ($11.18), a doll has materialized in the middle of London, drawing icy looks from passersby in the British capital.

A neon purple vending machine dispensing non-functioning tokens for £10 ($11.18), a doll has materialized in the middle of London, drawing icy looks from passersby in the British capital.

The glowing gadget is the 21st-century version of the first coin-operated machines seen in the city in the 1880s, dispensing postcards. Located at the Queen Elizabeth II Center in Westminster, it will be available between November 3-4 for the NFT. Conference in London, bringing the local crypto community together for debates and workshops.

Fans are not deterred from attending the event, although NFT trading volumes are hitting their all-time low. Trade in blockchain-based digital art and collectibles is down 97% from a record January through September this year. According to data from Dune Analytics, they fell to just $466 million in September from $17 billion at the start of 2022, as investors fled riskier assets amid interest rate hikes by central banks aimed at curbing inflation.

The rationale for what is being touted as “Europe’s first NFT vending machine” is that it will make NFTs more accessible and “remove all barriers to entry,” Hugo McDonaugh, the co-founder of myNFT — the company behind the device — told Bloomberg. news.

The machine accepts contactless payment in addition to Apple Pay. Once an amount of £10 is inserted, an envelope containing a QR code is paid out, allowing users to then redeem an NFT using the myNFT platform, without the need for a crypto wallet.

“There is so much potential in the NFT market and it’s such a shame to see some of it lost as potential investors are deterred by all sorts of unnecessary and complicated barriers,” McDonaugh said in a statement. “We are committed to making NFT investing a daily activity and breaking it out of its current clique.”

The NFTs that can be purchased through the machine are multichain, meaning users can hold them on Ethereum, Polygon, BNB Chain, Moonbeam and Moonriver, McDonaugh said. Coins from brands like Dr. Who Worlds Apart, Thunderbirds and Delft Blue Night Watch are for sale.

However, a more permanent home for the machine is still being sought. “We’re looking at a few bars,” McDonaugh said.

Proceeds from the NFT sale will go to Giveth and Roald Dahl’s Marvelous Children’s Charity, he added.

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