On opening day, the new Solana Spaces store had roughly 400 crypto-interested visitors, and it expects to welcome even more when other locations are built throughout the United States and the rest of the world.
CEO of Solana Spaces Vibhu Norby stated that the new physical Solana stores will introduce the Solana ecosystem to up to 100,000 people each month and hinted at intentions to create a virtual storefront soon.
The first Solana Spaces store debuted on Thursday in the posh Hudson Yards New York shopping complex thanks to a donation from the Solana Foundation.
On the day of the store’s debut, Norby addressed the community in an unscheduled Twitter AMA, explaining that the store’s purpose is to instruct new users on how to utilize decentralized apps (DApps) and that it will be exposing thousands of individuals to the Solana blockchain:
Norby stated that the store had 400 visits and that it was “built for those who are totally new to blockchain.” He also made a suggestion that future physical stores headquartered in the United States were in the works.
More than a thousand DApps call Solana home, including social networking, gaming, trading systems, and nonfungible tokens (NFTs).
Although it operates as a shop with a small selection of Solana-based products, it mostly acts as a retail-as-a-service educational center where new users may get free training on how to set up a cryptocurrency wallet and connect to other DApps:
“It’s not a store designed to be a place where you buy things. It’s a store designed to be an educational experience. We do sell merch, Solana socks and hoodies and other fun things, but that isn’t the main point of it.”
Stores that act as showcases for goods that customers may purchase online are referred to as providing retail-as-a-service. This stimulates product demonstrations and lowers the need for inventory.
Norby continued, “Those with little to no experience with blockchain will benefit the most from the shop.” He said that half of the customers who came in on launch day either knew something about Bitcoin (BTC) or Ether (ETH) or had some exposure to both. He stated:
“You don’t need to be here unless you want the sick merch. If you are trading NFTs full time, there’s only so much value we can offer.”
Customers have responded well to the new store thus far. Craig Burel, a partner in reciprocal venture capital, echoed the opinions of other customers by describing it as “quite spectacular” in a Thursday Twitter post.
The Solana Foundation provided a grant to assist start the store, but each instruction is funded by a blockchain-based enterprise. Notable companies providing tutorials at the shop right now include Stepn, Orca, Solana Pay, Metaplex, and Magic Eden. Customers who finish a lesson are given an NFT.
While Solana Spaces opened its first location on Thursday, Norby gave a hint that other physical stores and a virtual store were also in the works. He also stated that his ultimate goal was to open shops in all nations.
Through the new shop and a new Android smartphone dubbed the Saga, Solana is working to increase network access.