In what is a first for the crypto world, blockchain is pioneering Solana (SUN -0.40%) has launched a physical, real-world store in New York City. While the store just opened to the public, pictures are already circulating on social mediaand Solana has made no secret that the new Solana Spaces store will look and function much like an Apple Store.
For anyone who has followed the rise of apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) Over the past two decades, this move into real-world retail is clearly big news for Solana. After all, it was arguably the launch of the Apple Store concept back in 2001 that brought Apple forever into the consumer mainstream and helped it become one of the most valuable brands in the world. What Steve Jobs realized back then was that consumers needed a real way to learn about and experience all the amazing things they could create with Apple products. So just imagine if Solana is able to capture just a tiny fraction of Apple’s retail magic in the future.
Of course, the real genius of Solana’s move is that it will help ordinary people understand what the blockchain is in real life (IRL). For example, Solana Spaces staff will help you set up your crypto wallet and help you buy your first non-fungible tokens (NFT). At the same time, you will be able to check out the upcoming Solana mobile phone (the world’s first “crypto phone”) and purchase Solana-related merchandise.
In addition, there will be interactive art installations, and many ways to learn more about Solana and the plans for the future of Web3, which can best be thought of as what comes after the Internet. According to crypto enthusiasts, Web3 of course refers to a decentralized online ecosystem built on the blockchain. So is it any surprise that Solana calls the store a “Web3 embassy”? All of this will help make the blockchain something people can see, experience and touch. Steve Jobs would have been impressed.
Blockchain as a brand
Most people, when they think of blockchain, may have a hard time explaining what it is. If anything, they think of blockchain the same way they think of the internet — as something that just is. They may not be aware that there are different options for building on the blockchain. It is Ethereum (CRYPTO: ETH)of course, but so is Solana and Avalanche (CRYPTO: AVAX). So this store concept could be a way for the Solana brand to take off. This is not as far-fetched as it may seem, considering that you will now be able to purchase Solana-branded sneakers from celebrity athletes and designers in-store.
Of course, there’s the chance that all of this could just end up being a hugely expensive PR and publicity stunt for Solana. How many artists, designers and celebrity athletes are actually going to hang out in the store? And how many people are actually going to buy Solana merchandise? After all, when Steve Jobs first launched the Apple Store concept, there were many critics who complained that Apple was going to cannibalize existing sales channels and be stuck with many expensive stores that would not sell enough to break even. -efficient.
Also keep in mind that the location of the new Solana store – inside the Hudson Yards complex in Midtown Manhattan – is somewhat problematic. Hudson Yards opened to much fanfare just a few years ago, then went eerily quiet during the COVID pandemic. What was supposed to be NYC’s biggest real estate development project in decades has been mired in trouble since opening. Could this be a metaphor for all things blockchain and crypto?
The Web3 future
The good news is that during a crypto downturn, “builders build.” And right now they are building the Web3 future. If Solana has a say in the matter, it will be Solana who leads the way. The best NFTs come from Solana. The best metaverse experiences will come from Solana. The best mobile crypto experiences will come from Solana. You get the idea: There are many ways Solana can use its new Web3 Embassy to attract users, developers and investors. All the “cool kids” will use Solana, and everyone else will be stuck with Ethereum.
If that turns out to be true, then there are strong arguments for buying Solana now. Its current market cap may be just a fraction of what it could be in the near future if it truly becomes the apple of the crypto world.
Dominic Basulto holds positions in Ethereum. The Motley Fool has positions in and recommends Apple, Avalanche, Ethereum and Solana. The Motley Fool recommends the following options: long March 2023 $120 calls on Apple and short March 2023 $130 calls on Apple. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.