The Solana Spaces Store opened up in Hudson Yards last month. Since it might give us an idea of where the crypto, NFT, creator, web3 spaces are going, we hopped on the 7 train and went to check it out. With New York City residential rents at an all time high, we realized that some combination of IRL (in real life) and metaverse could be the way to go to market some of these new technologies. After all, even with the work from home (WFH) revolution, people want to be in a densely packed city like New York.
So what did we see?
There were a bunch of iPads touting applications and other Solana based technologies that you could sign up for which we decided to skip, since you could do this at home, technically. What we did see was a lot of merchandise. A lot.
For example, a sample Blanksole phygital sneaker that allows the user to customize their IRL sneakers and then upload these designs into the metaverse as NFTs so that they can not only be worn on our real feet but also those of our avatar.
There were a number of tee shirts, hoodies, socks, and other apparel that were all over the store as well as DEGEN, WAGMI and other meme hats. The prices were pretty high but then i noticed that if you paid via Solana Pay you got 50% off. Smart! What a great way to get users to sign up for Solana Pay even if only for this one time transaction.
On the software side, there were a few play to earn games like Stepn, where you have to buy a pair of special NFT sneakers in order to play the game. When you do real life activity, like take Steps (hence the name), you earn rewards that you can eventually cash out for USDC.
In the corner of the store, there were some chubby ape looking avatars, which I assumed were some type of NFT. An entire corner of the store was dedicated to the NFTs as well as the derivative merch from it. The Degenverse characters were printed on tee shirts, hats, hoodies and more.
Walking around, I also noticed a bunch of tutorials on what Solana, crypto, blockchain, and more were, kind of a web3 101 primer, if you will. Then there some more advanced classes including DeFi, NFTs, and more. Overall, the tutorials, if you decided to do them, would get you up to speed with web3, and more specifically, the Solana blockchain.
I went to Hudson Yards on a Friday afternoon, and while the outside of the mall was packed with tourists taking pictures in front of the Shed and the Vessel, the 2nd floor Solana Spaces was relatively empty.
So is there a future for this?
Right now Solana Spaces is pretty basic, but with the inflow of venture and private capital into that particular blockchain, I’m confident that someone will come up with some more interesting use cases beyond tee shirts, hoodies, and socks.
That being said, for those influencers selling merchandise, it’s a pretty good sign when one of the most well funded blockchains is utilizing your same business model. Perhaps when there is a crypto rebound you can create your own coin and entice your fans to use it to get a significant discount off your merch (like Solana Pay!).
Have you visited Solana Spaces in Hudson Yards, New York? Give us a shout and let us know what you think. Did you find it interesting? Did you attend one of the events? Let us know. Drop us an email with your opinions!