The machine is a demo for a product that Civic plans to officially launch by the end of the year, a vending machine that can verify the age of the customers and allow them to buy beer by paying in cryptocurrencies.
The innovation lies in the verification of the identity of the customers and their age, as it is illegal to sell alcohol to customers under a certain age.
In order to proceed with the purchase, it is necessary to install the Civic Pay app: it is precisely this app that verifies the identity of the customers and checks their age.
According to Titus Capilnean of Civic, since last Sunday the demo machines already installed have sold about 150 beers a day, for a total of about 100,000 CVC tokens, or about 7,600 dollars. The CVC tokens were distributed by Civic itself to SXSW participants.
The cost of a single beer is quite high for now (200 CVC, about 12 dollars), however, the purchase, once the app has been downloaded, installed and configured, can be made by making just a couple of clicks on the machine and scanning a QR code.
In fact, there would be no substantial differences compared to the use of fiat currency, and the verification of identity required by the app would ensure the correctness of the sale of alcohol automatically.
The app‘s identity verification process consists of two steps: first, the user has to scan a document to be sent for verification, and then a “third-party identity validator” carries out the verification.
However, it is not known how the app can ensure that a fake one is not provided: it is known that many minors use details of friends or relatives of legal age to be able to buy alcohol when they are not allowed to do so.
In order to ensure that these vending machines are legally usable in the US, the company has requested and obtained the approval of the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission. In fact, the technology used was already available last year, but it was only after obtaining this approval that it was possible to make them usable by the public without running into legal problems.
So now the machines can be put on the market. Capilnean says they could be used in music festivals, sports venues or even directly in bars, for example.