Thailand is often a curious mixture of old and new. Ancient style architecture in temples share neighbourhoods with ultra-modern skyscrapers. Modern life is blended with traditions a century old or older. And now, old meets new again with the launch of CryptoAmulets, digital Buddhist amulets that are combining the ancient Thai tradition of carrying Buddhist good luck charms with the modern world of NFTs.
CryptoAmulets saw the opportunity to bring Thai religion into the modern era by making the common practice of saving charms that have been blessed by the most revered luck into NFTs, digital collectables carrying the same connotations but easier to obtain and maintain. Their first release of 8,000 NFTs blessed by a prominent monk are available now with a Sunday deadline for purchase.
Non-fungible tokens, usually abbreviated to NFTs, are virtual images or data stored on a blockchain, making them certifiably unique and exclusive. Collecting art, music, videos, even social media posts or memes have become a hot trend as the world becomes increasingly digital.
The creator of CryptoAmulets respects the tradition of collecting tokens blessed by monks and saw the idea of turning it into digital art and selling them as NFTs as a way to introduce some Thai culture and tradition to the world. The majority of Thais are Buddhist and a large percentage participate in this tradition. Bangkok and other cities even have an amulet market for collectors and traders.
A physical amulet can bring fortune and blessings, but one that has been blessed by a well-known and revered monk can be valued at thousands of dollars. But authenticating them has often been challenging, with fakes and lost records making a token’s value questionable. Blockchain technology of NFTs eliminates this problem as digital records are unchangeable and securely stored.
CryptoAmulets reached out to a very well-respected abbot in the northeast of Thailand named Luang Pu Heng to request he participate in the NFTs. The monk’s blessings are widely considered to bring good luck to businesses. Last month Luang Pu Heng held a blessing ceremony for a physical representation of the CrytoAmulets to be sold, with feature artwork of his peaceful face, where he dripped holy water over the objects while monks chanted in support.
Explaining crypto concepts to a 95 year old monk was not easy, but he understood the idea comparable to blessing a photo – a representation of the physical object. He agreed with the idea of making an NFT with the same religious value as traditional trinkets. Amulets are inscribed with blessings like wealth or luck in Thai and sold online in ethereum, the second-biggest cryptocurrency.
The CryptoAmulets NFTs are currently selling for 1,500 to 60,000 baht with about 1,500 of 8,000 sold so far. The deadline for sale is Sunday. Most of the purchasers are Thai with one buyer saying they don’t know about NFTs at all, but they respect Luang Pu Heng and have received luck from his blessings before, so they are trying this new style.
Other Thais are more sceptical and feel that a blessed amulet should be something physical you can hold when you need luck or while you prey. They prefer necklaces or decorations that can be touched and appreciated. Still, for those adopting, CryptoAmulets may bring digital concepts into Thailand and someday be a common part of Buddhist practices.
SOURCE: Bangkok Post
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