In a world awash with crypto everything, the prospect of CryptoWeddings makes perfect sense.
But Cody Lamson, the Berlin-based coder behind CryptoWeddings, didn’t create its contracts and decentralized application for a quick cash grab.
The current version of CryptoWeddings is about three years old, and Lamson first made another version a year before that. “A big redo” was done, when he and his wife Alexandra wanted to renew their vows, he explained in a recent interview. “I built it quite a while ago so it’s kind of a distant memory for me,” he said.
CryptoWeddings is a Dapp, which uses the Ethereum blockchain. It takes two addresses and creates a wedding smart contract — a decentralized program on the Ethereum blockchain. The two addresses can agree to marry — or not, as the site points out. This is then set on the blockchain and cannot be changed by anyone other than the two parties who agreed to marry. Although, as the CryptoWeddings site so clearly spells out, divorces are possible, too.
Spectators can watch live and send wedding gifts along with messages that will stay on the blockchain. The upsides include having a wedding live forever on a blockchain and the freedom to marry on a blockchain for couples who live in places with oppressive governmental policies “that do not allow two humans to get married without regard to their genders or sexual preferences.”
Answering the question of “Does this mean anything in real life?” the site states, “At the moment, no. In the future? Who knows.”
Completely free, CryptoWeddings are open for anyone to use with all the codes there, too. “So if anyone wanted to copy the code, it’s there as well,” Lamson said. “I didn’t really build it for any financial gain. I built it because I thought it was neat.”
CryptoWeddings works by connecting the site to the Ethereum blockchain. The site is integrated with a wallet for users that represents identity. In order to do anything other than view weddings, you need to buy Ether, the native currency of Ethereum blockchain, and send that to your wallet. Once Ether is in your wallet, you can create a wedding or participate in one such as sending gifts. Watching a wedding does not require Ether.
For Lamson, CryptoWeddings was just a personal project that was “fun and potentially meaningful.” In addition, it combined the principles of Ethereum with something that would be important. He also noted its immutability and how not being able to have that information anywhere else in the world “is somehow romantic but also important.”
Samson added that “not being able to be censored — no matter who you are and who you want to marry” and having that information out there for all the world to see is kind of powerful.”
Asked if he has considered approaching any brands, bridal companies, resorts or other wedding-friendly services about potential tie-ins, Lamson said he and his wife had lightly talked about it. “It’s a possibility, but it’s really not my area or something that I’m interested in doing. My wife was vaguely interested.…There are possibilities there but they are not areas that I am good at or are interested in getting good at. I like writing code,” he explained.
That said, should someone offer to buy CryptoWeddings or handle the marketing, Lamson said, “That would be great. I would definitely be interested.”
His wife, a URUX designer, had some very nice designs for CryptoWeddings and Samson “sadly ignored most of them,” wanting to get the project done as quickly possible. He explained with a laugh, “It could have looked much nicer but that’s the design of a programmer on the site — not her design sadly.”
One of his incentives for creating CryptoWeddings was to explain to people why Ethereum is such a cool thing. “It’s a very real concrete thing that people can relate to,” he said. “When you say, ‘Oh, it’s a decentralized world computer and you can build programs on it that run all over the world. And they can’t be tampered with and they’re beautiful.’ People don’t know what the hell you are talking about.”
However, when you mention the idea of a wedding and having that available for everyone to see and no one else can change it, that resonates with some people.
Despite the novelty and earnestness of Samson’s CryptoWeddings, it isn’t very popular at the moment. There have only been three weddings to date, he said. “I doubt there will be a lot of people using it. But if people did, that would be great. I think it requires someone who is very interested in marketing in it and putting in a marketing budget and all that kind of stuff. Since there’s no real way to make money, I don’t think anyone really cares to do that.”
Asked to speculate why that could be the case, he said that nowadays crypto is fueled by greed with most people being interested in how they can make money and a quick buck. As for those, who believe crypto is like a big Ponzi scheme where early investors do well and later ones may get burned, Lamson said, “They’re not wrong to an extent but that is the same thing with a lot of stuff. It’s the same thing with stocks. If you get in early with [solid] stocks, you’re making money off other people, who put money in, when you sell [your stocks]. The principle there isn’t really different.”
Based in Berlin, he has been writing Web3 apps for the past three to five years. Although he worked on a blockchain-related project with Porsche in the past, Samson said he generally doesn’t do any design-related things. He had hoped to at one point, but the pair haven’t gotten around to it beyond CryptoWeddings.
Unaware of the recent inaugural Metaverse Fashion Week, he said, “I’m very uninterested in metaverse. I think the world would be better without crap like that. We need less virtual, not more of it — especially after the COVID-19.”
He added, “I would be happy with more real-world things. It sounds like a big Second Life kind of thing. We don’t need more of that — at least in my opinion.”