World-first: Crypto-powered beer vending machine

World-first: Crypto-powered beer vending machine

The South by Southwest (SXSW) Conference & Festival in Austin, Texas, is a little more than halfway through its 10-day run. It is a huge event in the state, bringing together industries such as film and music and giving attendees a chance to also see what’s on tap from innovative vendors. This year, a cryptocurrency-related product has made an appearance and it is certainly going to be one that finds a huge following. 

Civic, a decentralized identity startup, showed off three beer vending machines in its booth on Wednesday. All three accept crypto and the demonstration was designed to allow attendees to get a taste of what’s to come when the vending machines are released later this year. 

The anti-everything crowd who likes to argue against anything new will say that a beer vending machine can’t be illegal since laws around the world prevent underage drinking. To that, Civic has the solution. The machines are able to verify a user’s age, which will ensure that they cannot be used by adolescents looking for a buzz. 

The beer dispensers are already proving to be successful at SXSW. Civic indicates that it has sold around 150 beers per day since they were introduced last Sunday, taking in around $7,600. 

Payments are made through Civic’s CVC coin. An iOS Civic Pay app exists, which requires users to verify their identity. From there, beer cans are ready to be dispensed after a QR code is scanned and payment is made. 

Titus Capilnean, director of marketing for Civic, indicates that the vending machines were both built and tested at SXSW. It was the first time the company offered the devices to the general public, incorporating both the age verification and the sales at the same time. 

Surprisingly, Civic was able to secure approval for the machines where it was need. It approached the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission about offering the vending machines and, after the commission approved, SXSW signed on, as well. 

Civic is reportedly already discussing distribution channels and partnerships with other entities, but won’t disclose its secrets. The company expects the machines to be a huge hit, especially at activities such as music concerts, sporting events and even some bars. All of these require age verification and an automated system to enable that will go a long way toward appeasing regulators.

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