This Bitcoin Vending Machine Is Sending Weird Signals About the Future -

This Bitcoin Vending Machine Is Sending Weird Signals About the Future


MIT’s Media Lab unveiled a vending machine that accepts bitcoin with a quirky twist — it was stocked solely with Soylent.

Also read: Krypton Aims at More Secure Smart Contracts After Ethereum Fork

Soylent and Bitcoin?

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.

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.

DashnDrink: Dash-Powered Vending Machine


Another cryptocurrency-based vending machine, DashnDrink, was recently in the news as well. Exclusively using Dash, this project was funded by the cryptocurrency’s built-in self-governance system.

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.

About MIT Media Lab

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!

Source: Gizmodo

Images Courtesy of DashnDrink, MIT Media Lab

Trevor Hill

Trevor Hill

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.

  • Erik

    Main difference between 2 is Dash has instant send, and the other either offers away to do a double spend attempt or you’ll have 2 wait 10 minutes for your drink.

  • Tante Stefana

    I really don’t mean to be nasty, but Bitcoin is just not keeping up, and taking routes that will not survive, like the Lightening Network. For a while it might work because Bitcoin does have the MarketCap required to make larger purchases, but how long will that last? Dash can keep it’s low fees while being infinitely salable (or at least up to the whole of human population using it) with it’s 3 tier network and keep it’s instant payment secure with the network’s quorum system and instant transaction locking.

    Really, the ONLY thing holding Dash back is Fiat Gateways. You pretty much have to go through Bitcoin to get Dash or to get Fiat. It’s a mafia really, as crooked as any Banking industry or Wall Street. Without every alt coin having to go through Bitcoin or Ethereum now, Bitcoin wouldn’t be where it is.

    But mark my words. Soon someone will open up a Fiat gateway to challenge the CoinBases of the world, and their house of cards and control will fall.

  • Trevor Hill

    Right, as it is, Dash is definitely more equipped to handle quick transactions like stopping at a vending machine to get a snack or drink.

    I think if Bitcoin wants to be able to do the same thing it will likely need to create a tier of monetized nodes, the same way Dash has, to make confirmations quicker and more efficient. Monetization always improves the distribution and supply of things that have economic value.

    For whatever reason the devs at Dash realized that before the devs at Bitcoin Core.

  • Trevor Hill

    Bitcoin has an advantage over all altcoins simply because of its larger network effect. For a money, network effects have a self-reinforcing mechanism to them. People value Bitcoin for its purchasing power and the more people use Bitcoin the more PP it has.

    Right now, people do use Bitcoin more than all other altcoins, thus the reason why it is more accepted than Dash.

    However, that’s not to say it can’t change in the future if people become aware of the benefits of a possibly superior digital currency.

  • Erik

    The reason, I am personally no longer invested in bitcoin but am in dash is that I have very little hope they will ever get it done, and the very minium there time-frame is way to long already.

    I am speaking about both the technical as the organisation/governance of bitcoin. Even if they would directly implement everything dash has especially especially the part of master-nodes, it would be totally unfair, to miners, and non-holders of btc. There where bitcoin can not even agree on increasing from 1mb to 2mb it is very unlikely. Dash really showed it’s power of its Governance model by voting in less than 24hours fo increase from 1mb to 2mb.