Civic, a cryptocurrency startup founded by Vinny Lingham who starred in the famous show “Shark Tank South Africa” in 2016, is set to release a beer vending machine that accepts cryptocurrency and helps verify the age of its user. Civic’s decentralized blockchain architecture helps ensure smooth transactions and security of identity.
The crypto vending machine, which is the first of its kind will be unveiled at a conference in New York City – CoinDesk’s Consensus 2018. Civic partnered with Anheuser-Busch, a famous beverage company, in building the machine.
For now, the company only plans to demo its age verification functionality; therefore, only those attending Consensus 2018 will have the opportunity to see how it works.
About 600 free beers will be dispensed daily at the conference using the machine. This means that any attendee can get a drink once their age has been verified to be legal.
How it works
In order to conveniently buy a chilled beer, the customer has to download the Civic app on their phone, verify their age and ID on the app to show they are of legal age. Then walk up to the machine and scan the code with their phone and transfer some bitcoin. After completing these steps, chilled beverages will be dispensed to the customers.
The beer vending machine is a prototype expected to prove to the whole world that blockchain has limitless potential, including age verification. And because privacy is a key concern for Civic, customer’s information is not stored on the vending machine.
Titus Capilnean, Civic’s marketing manager Told Coindesk:
“We’ve been thinking about practical ways of bringing crypto technology to a more mainstream audience, and how can we go so so niche that it’s so easy to understand for a regular individual. Proof of age seemed like the best low-hanging fruit.”
He explained further that, while this concept has been limited to beer, other age-restricted products can also use it. They have plans to extend its application to entrances for gambling premises and casinos, as well as concerts and events.
Several reactions have trailed the unveiling of the machine:
Presenting the First Ever Anonymous Age Verifying Beer Vending Machine – in partnership with Anheuser-Busch InBev #cryptobeer #announcement #cvc $cvc #civic #blockchain #consensus2018 https://t.co/sPyR1ZvMdd pic.twitter.com/4OOaZOg3lt
— Civic (@civickey) May 12, 2018
A Twitter user by the name Mixwell, says:
“Wat? Civic can’t deliver on secure decentralized identity so they just selling flat beer now?”
Another person, Daniel, sarcastically said:
“hell yes; time to fill my house with beers. But I have one question, whats the difference between crypto-beer and normal beer?”
The Future of Blockchain
At Civic, they believe that the issues of age and ID verification can be overcome via the integration of cryptocurrency with public interactions.
However, it remains to be seen how age verification functionality will be applied in other real-world situations such as government-issued identifications. As of now, it looks like the legal purchase of alcohol would have to be somehow linked to regulations of the blockchain.
With blockchain-based companies talking about advancements such as a decentralized internet, energy sharing, living in smart homes, and self-driving cars, everything suddenly looks possible now that beer vending machines are set to be unveiled.
At present, Civic has not revealed any plans to extend the distribution of the vending machine, but if it’s successful in this attempt, it’s possible that we may see more of these or similar ideas in public places in the future.