Two Coinbase employees are celebrating crypto-romance after they exchanged “virtual rings” via the Ethereum blockchain during their wedding last weekend.
San Francisco couple Rebecca Rose and Peter Kacherginsky married at a traditional Jewish ceremony. But instead of swapping rings they sent digital tokens to each other’s wallets using a specially-created smart contract.
Rose, head of product design at Coinbase, announced the unconventional nuptials on Twitter.
The groom wrote a smart contract named Tabaat (the Hebrew word for “ring”) consisting of 2,218 lines of code. Tabaat cost around 0.25 ETH to deploy, worth around $450 at the time.
To finalize the contract, Kacherginsky made three more transactions about an hour after the first worth 0.0048 ETH ($87). This brought the total cost of the blockchain portion of their wedding to $537.
The Ethereum network took four minutes to validate the ceremony, costing the newlyweds around $50 in mining fees.
The couple also commissioned an animation to add to the NFT.
Ethereum weddings: Cute but nothing new
Blockchain fans have been working the tech into their big day since 2014, when David Mondrus and Joyce Bayo transcribed their vows to the Bitcoin blockchain inside OP_RETURN data.
It’s not particularly rare, either. The city of Reno, Nevada registered more than 950 ‘blockchain weddings’ in 2018 alone.
On the face of it, blockchain fans typically highlight three main advantages of registering unions on a public ledger like Ethereum.
- They’re quick, likely taking less than an hour to add to a blockchain.
- They’re cheap, costing a few hundred dollars (“real” weddings cost $25,000 on average).
- They’re immediately verifiable from anywhere — useful to confirm marital status.
[Read more: Crypto miners to go public with ‘high-end’ NFT fund]
Hypothetically, blockchain marriages can even be ended relatively quickly, and proponents say smart contracts could help divide assets instantly if prenuptial agreements are pre-programmed.
However, there’s downsides. Marriages still require human involvement (witnesses, notaries, officiants), which means the blockchain stuff becomes just another thing to organize for a wedding.
But perhaps the most glaring is the potential ephemerality of blockchain networks.
Writing on Twitter, Rose said: “The blockchain, unlike physical objects, is forever. It is unstoppable, impossible to censor, and does not require anyone’s permission. Just as love should be. What could possibly be more romantic than that?”
Theoretically: yes, anything recorded to the Ethereum blockchain is there “forever.” But forever in this context covers only the lifespan of that particular blockchain, not the universe. Ethereum has only been around for six years — a far cry from eternity.
So, the smart contract powering Rose’s nuptials will certainly exist as long as the Ethereum blockchain is around, but whether Ethereum will truly stand the test of time is another story.