A picture of the vending machine was tweeted out by MIT’s own Ethan Zuckerman last night. In it, you can see the machine was mostly empty aside from a few bottles of Soylent. The vending machine even comes equipped with a QR code for people to conveniently scan.
— Ethan Zuckerman (@EthanZ) July 28, 2016
The machine first came to public attention sometime last year, as a few people tweeted about the possibility of MIT Lab getting a bitcoin-compatible vending machine. Speculation made its way around social media after the director of Media Lab, Joi Ito, first tweeted a picture of a vending machine being brought into the lab.
The speculation became reality after a while, once it was actually confirmed to accept bitcoin. Tierion tweeted about it after getting a tour of the MIT Media Lab building in September of 2015.
The Dash-powered vending machine is like MIT Media Lab’s Bitcoin equivalent in that they both accept cryptocurrency. However, unlike the MIT machine, the DashnDrink accepts Dash only.
The DashnDrink project itself was proposed as a way to show off the network efficiency of incentivized “Masternodes.”
This claimed efficiency was proven to be true when the vending machine was shown off at the North American Bitcoin Conference held in Miami in late January, where attendees successfully used the machine to purchase a drink using Dash in a matter of seconds.
The MIT Media Lab brings together some brilliant minds to work on unique applications of technology. One of these applications happens to be digital currencies, which the media lab has a history with.
In fact, the lab has created an entire project dedicated to researching digital currency and their applications, called “The Media Lab Digital Currency Initiative.” Also, earlier this year, the lab created a “director of digital currency” position and brought in former White House senior advisor, Brian Forde, to fill that vacancy
Although, a bitcoin-powered vending machine that only supplies Soylent may suggest something strange for the future of humanity. The synthesis of MIT, an institution that is world-renowned for being on the forefront of tech innovation, and digital currency seems to suggest exciting times for the bitcoin community.
What do you think of MIT’s Bitcoin-powered vending machine? Let us know in the comments below!
Images Courtesy of DashnDrink, MIT Media Lab
Trevor is a writer at Bitcoinist. He is currently attending his first year at the University of Wisconsin-Fox Valley, with a selected major in Economics. Subscribes to the Austrian school of economics.
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