Vinny Lingham’s Blockchain Startup Civic Cuts New Deals with a Dozen Retail Partners

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Civic has just announced an expansion of the Civic Network with AAEON, AR Systems, Fastcorp Vending, Global Vending Group, greenbox Robotics, Invenda, IVM, IVS, Retail Automated Concepts, SandenVendo, The-Venders, and Wemp joining the project.

“The first step in making digital identity attainable is making it accessible for the everyday consumer,” said Vinny Lingham, Civic CEO and Co-founder. “Vending machines represent an introduction to the mass market, where people can see how digital identity functions in the real world, as well as opening up an entirely new market for automated retail. We’re thrilled to partner with leaders in the automated retail industry, and working together, we look forward to making digital identity available and usable.”

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The soon-to-be-released Civic Pay app will enable partners to combine identity verification, payment, and rewards into a single transaction and these first Civic Pay partners are at the forefront of the automated retail industry.  

By integrating the Civic Pay app with automated retail solutions and smart vending machines, these partners will introduce the first real-world, Civic Pay use cases, where people can prove identity and pay for a product in a single transaction. Together, these companies represent over one million connected vending machines. Combining identity with payment will further advance Civic partners’ automated retail solutions and expand vending opportunities for a growing market. Currently, there are over 3 million connected vending machines globally, a number expected to grow to 5.4 million by 2022 according to Berg Insight.

The Civic Network expansion marks a big step towards Civic’s larger vision: to give everyone a digital identity that they own and control. Most transactions require some form of identity verification and building identity verification into payment functionality simplifies that process. Vending machines make digital identity accessible and give people the ability to experience new technology. In addition, with the Civic Pay app, once users are verified, they are able to use the same verification over and over again, further streamlining the identity and payment process.

“Speaking with Civic, we immediately recognized the vision and how identity verification could help AAEON embark on an entirely new market of vending opportunities. The combination of identity and payment enables a frictionless user experience that allows for a new subset of product offerings,” said Paul Yang, General Manager at AAEON. “We’re excited to be one of Civic’s first vending machine partners, and we look forward to implementing Civic technology to provide a cutting-edge customer experience.”

“With over 800,000 vending machines, we’re always looking for innovative concepts to introduce. The vending machine market is flourishing and being the first to adopt industry-changing technology is critical to providing the best user experience,” Mike Weiser, SandenVendo’s CEO and President. “With combined identity, payment, and rewards solutions, Civic Pay is a perfect fit for our vending fleet, and we’re excited to implement this technology and help make digital identity more accessible.”

To learn more about Civic automated retail solutions, visit

About Richard Kastelein

Founder and publisher of industry publication Blockchain News (EST 2015), a partner at ICO services collective Token.Agency ($750m+ and 90+ ICOs and STOs), director of education company Blockchain Partners (Oracle Partner) – Vancouver native Richard Kastelein is an award-winning publisher, innovation executive and entrepreneur. He sits on the advisory boards of some two dozen Blockchain startups and has written over 1500 articles on Blockchain technology and startups at Blockchain News and has also published pioneering articles on ICOs in Harvard Business Review and Venturebeat. Irish Tech News put him in the top 10 Token Architects in Europe.

Kastelein has an Ad Honorem – Honorary Ph.D. and is Chair Professor of Blockchain at China’s first Blockchain University in Nanchang at the Jiangxi Ahead Institute of Software and Technology. In 2018 he was invited to and attended University of Oxford’s Saïd Business School for Business Automation 4.0 programme.  Over a half a decade experience judging and rewarding some 1000+ innovation projects as an EU expert for the European Commission’s SME Instrument programme as a startup assessor and as a startup judge for the UK government’s Innovate UK division.

Kastelein has spoken (keynotes & panels) on Blockchain technology in Amsterdam, Antwerp, Barcelona, Beijing, Brussels, Bucharest, Dubai, Eindhoven, Gdansk, Groningen, the Hague, Helsinki, London (5x), Manchester, Minsk, Nairobi, Nanchang, Prague, San Mateo, San Francisco, Santa Clara (2x), Shanghai, Singapore (3x), Tel Aviv, Utrecht, Venice, Visakhapatnam, Zwolle and Zurich.

He is a Canadian (Dutch/Irish/English/Métis) whose writing career has ranged from the Canadian Native Press (Arctic) to the Caribbean & Europe. He’s written occasionally for Harvard Business Review, Wired, Venturebeat, The Guardian and, and his work and ideas have been translated into Dutch, Greek, Polish, German and French. A journalist by trade, an entrepreneur and adventurer at heart, Kastelein’s professional career has ranged from political publishing to TV technology, boatbuilding to judging startups, skippering yachts to marketing and more as he’s travelled for nearly 30 years as a Canadian expatriate living around the world. In his 20s, he sailed around the world on small yachts and wrote a series of travel articles called, ‘The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Seas’ travelling by hitching rides on yachts (1989) in major travel and yachting publications. He currently lives in Groningen, Netherlands where he’s raising three teenage daughters with his wife and sailing partner, Wieke Beenen.

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