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Published: Oct 20, 2021 18 min read
A couple in the heart shape with both checking their crypto portfolios. Around them, floating with crypto related scenes, such as dogecoin ring, bitcoin sunset while vacationing.
James Clapham for Money

On a rainy day in Palo Alto in March, Rebecca and Peter Kacherginsky stood before family, friends and a few dozen guests on Zoom as they exchanged wedding vows. COVID-19 accommodations aside, the ceremony was traditional. The bride wore a veil; the groom wore a kippah; neither could stop smiling.

Then things took a very 2021 turn.

Juggling her bouquet in one hand and iPhone in the other, Rebecca opened a virtual wallet and sent Peter a non-fungible token, or NFT. He did the same. Using an Ethereum smart contract Peter wrote himself, the couple exchanged unique digital signifiers containing a pink and blue animation titled Tabaat, which means “ring” in Hebrew.

They weren’t only getting married in the historic Gamble Garden, or in the state of California. They were also getting married on the blockchain, a virtual ledger that displays cryptocurrency transactions.

Rebecca and Peter Kacherginsky exchange non-fungible tokens, or NFTs, at their March 2021 wedding.
Julie Mikos

For the Kacherginskys, the act was a reference to their jobs — both work for the crypto exchange Coinbase — and a meaningful way to mint their union. Unlike their marriage certificate (which was contingent upon government approval), their online relationship status (which Facebook could delete in a heartbeat), or their paper ketubah (which would burn in a house fire), they personally control the NFT. Public, poignant and permanent, it’s the ultimate romantic gesture.

“It's almost like putting a marker on a bench, except that bench is going to be there forever,” Peter says.

It may have required a little explanation to the rabbi, but the concept wasn’t as far-out as you might think. 2021 has been a huge year for cryptocurrency: No longer confined to a niche, it’s firmly entrenched in American culture. We’re not just talking about Elon Musk’s Dogecoin jokes on Saturday Night Live — crypto is increasingly playing a role in romantic relationships, seeping into people’s DMs, dates and even divorces. It’s an activity couples can bond over as well as a way to plan financially for the future as they look toward buying houses, having children and growing old.

This is love in the age of crypto.

James Clapham for Money

'Bitcoin for dummies' turned meet cute

It was a bear market when Erin Edwards answered the phone at the D Hotel & Casino Las Vegas in 2014 and heard a deep voice on the line. The caller would eventually become her husband, but at that point, he simply wanted to ask whether her workplace would host a Bitcoin meetup.

“I was like, ‘Sure! Hang on a second,’ and I Googled ‘Bitcoin for dummies,’” she says.

Once Erin knew enough to hold her own in conversation, the duo met in person to hammer out event logistics. Sparks flew — Kingsley recalls telling a colleague he thought Erin was cute as they left on the elevator — and the rest is history. They started hosting Bitcoin meetups as a pair, moved in together and attended crypto conferences around the world.