In India, a couple from Pune became the first to hold a blockchain wedding. The ceremony was place on the Open Sea platform.
According to the groom, Anil Narasipuram, they first married in a court ceremony on November 15, 2021, because they wanted to keep the ceremony small and avoid inviting a huge group of people. However, they chose to commemorate their marriage with an online ceremony administered by their own “digital priest,” Anoop Pakki. The Ethereum smart contract was enshrined in the form of an NFT (non-fungible token) produced on OpenSea, the world’s largest NFT marketplace, which brings together people who trade in rare digital objects, crypto collectibles, and other items.
The NFT, nicknamed Ekatvam, was a replica of his wife’s engagement ring, which included the wedding vows. Narasipuram and his wife, Shruti Nair, had set up Metamask Wallets, which are essentially cryptocurrency wallets, in which the priest had minted the NFT on OpenSea and then transferred it to him. The couple exchanged wedding vows shortly after, and the digital priest blessed them both. The NFT was deposited to Shruti’s crypto wallet after the transaction was completed. Friends and family members who watched the ceremony on Google Meet were also able to participate digitally in the event, which lasted about 15 minutes.
According to Anil, “Our digital priest pronounced us husband and wife after the transaction took a few minutes (and roughly $35 in ETH gas fees). On the Ethereum blockchain, the transaction represents a permanent, unchangeable, and public record of our commitment to each other.”
Unlike a traditional marriage, in which the state, the government, or religion acts as an institution to manage the union between the two couples, a blockchain marriage is decentralised, and can be as flexible as the blockchain owners’ wishes.
Smart contracts can be created by couples and can be renewed, altered, or dissolved on a yearly basis. Unfortunately, it has no legal standing under Indian law (or even US law for that matter), but it is an appealing choice for couples since, unlike a typical marriage certificate, which deteriorates over time, this one will remain in the blockchain forever.