Karma’s Luck has arrived in the digital art market with a splash of kaleido color and the face of a revered Thai monk who offers a wearable Buddhist lucky charm to high-tech buyers.
The sale of non-fungible tokens (NFTs), virtual images of everything from popular internet memes to original artwork, has swept the art world in recent months, costing major auction houses millions of dollars. auction. There is also something to be gained.
“Crypto Amulets” is the latest trending company, and founder Ekkaphong Khemthong feels the desirability of Thailand’s widespread practice of collecting amulets blessed by respected monks.
“I was a collector of talismans and I was thinking about how to present the talismans to foreigners and to the world,” he told AFP.
Collecting amulets and other small religious jewelry is a popular pastime in Thailand, dominated by Buddhists. The capital, Bangkok, has a market dedicated to these lucky merchants.
Blessed by respected monks, their value can increase by several thousand dollars.
Ekkapong wanted CryptoAmulets to have the same traditional rituals as physical works, although they are in digital form. This is why we approached Luang Pu Heng, the highly regarded abbot in northeastern Thailand.
“I respect this monk. I want the world to know him. He is a symbol of good luck in business, ”he said.
-Real and blessed-
Luang Pu Heng held a ceremony last month celebrating a physical replica of a digital amulet showing a sweet image of his face.
When his saffron-clad disciples sang yellow petals on the altar with portraits and scattered them, he splashed holy water on his face.
One of the challenges was to explain the concept of DTV to Abbott, 95. Abbott assumed he would celebrate the physical amulet.
“It’s so difficult that we just tried to simplify it,” Singaporean developer Daye Chan said.
“We told him it was like a blessing for a photo.”
Converting amulets into crypto art also means removing the usual question of authenticity that plagues amulets sold in the market, he added.
“There are a lot of amulets that are mass produced… all records can be lost and these physical objects can easily be tampered with,” Chan said.
NFT uses blockchain technology (an immutable digital ledger) to record every transaction from the moment it is created.
“With our amulets, even after 100 years, we can check the records to see what blockchain is,” Chan explains.
However, the founder, Ekkaphong, was not drawn to the karmic effectiveness of the digital amulet compared to its actual counterpart.
“They are different,” he says.
– “Lucky experience” –
In the online gallery of the CryptoAmulets site, various inscriptions are written in Thai around each token. For example, “rich”, “lucky”, “fortune”.
Their price is based on the layered system of Ethereum, the second largest cryptocurrency in the world after Bitcoin, and is currently priced between $ 46 and $ 1,840.
Sales are slow ahead of Sunday’s purchase deadline, with only 1,500 of the 8,000 available tokens sold out, with Thais making up the majority of buyers.
Thai chef Theerapong Lertsongkram said he bought the Crypto Amulet in honor of what was blessed by Luang Pu Heng.
“I have had lucky experiences, like winning small lottery prizes and being promoted at work,” said Theerapong, who works at a restaurant in Stockholm.
“I didn’t know anything about NFT before, but I respect Luang Pu Heng so much that I decided to buy him,” he told AFP.
However, Wasan Skugit, a fellow collector who decorates the interior of the taxi with a rare amulet, struggles with this concept.
“Amulets have to be physical, something that people can have,” he ridiculed.
“I like things that can be hung around my neck.”
© 2021 AFP
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