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Though the initiative by Solana Spaces was creative and path-breaking, it was short-lived.
Solana Spaces, a physical retail, educational, and community space dedicated to Web3, will close its outlets by the end of the month. The company used storefronts in New York City and Miami to promote the adoption of its Solana blockchain and is all set to shut down its locations.
According to the company representatives, the startup had reached a divergence point and now wants to switch from the brick-and-mortar experiences to the buzzing world of Non-Fungible Tokens (NFT). According to Chief Executive Officer Vibhu Norby, Solana Spaces will refurbish itself as DRiP, a boutique NFT rollout platform designed by Norby, which has also been publicized in stores.
Norby, who founded the Solana Spaces in early 2022, said that while the stores take in over 500-1000 people per week, DRiP will onboard the same number of people every day! The decision to shut down the shops in the Hudson Yards neighborhood of Manhattan and the Wynwood section of Miami was finalized a few weeks ago.
While the initiative by Solana Spaces was creative and path-breaking, it was short-lived. The announcement to shut down follows after seven months of Norby opening Solana Spaces in a glamorous mall in New York City’s Hudson Yards. Its employees directed guests through interactive sessions that taught them how to use Solana, from creating a crypto wallet to exchanging tokens on a decentralized exchange. Norby eventually set up another outlet in Miami.
Over sixty thousand visitors arrived at the stores in a span of six months and concluded sixteen thousand onboarding tutorials, according to a spokesperson from the Solana Foundation. However, the spokesperson also affirmed that the Foundation has no monetary holding in the company.
The idea was rather new and interesting as the firm wasn’t selling a product, but educating customers by becoming an interactive billboard for crypto brands like FTX, Phantom, and Orca that paid for exposure to conventional audiences. The capital invested in advertisement allowed for Solana Spaces operations. While FTX’s collapse was devastating for the company, Norby pressed on the fact that the firm could stay afloat by using its retail-as-a-service (RaaS) model.
A year before this, Norby’s initial attempt at RaaS, the tech gadget-oriented store b8ta, shut down its operations after not being able to reach a deal with the landlords.
In a concluding remark, Norby said that the decision was less about the capital and more about the vision of the project that wasn’t completely aligned. The firm, however, continues to design DRiP, the NFT distribution platform which has been able to grab the attention of multiple crypto enthusiasts and was signed up for by thousands of individuals through Solana Spaces-run stores.