The Chinese language sea goddess Mazu is large enterprise in Taiwan and the blockchain may make it even greater.
The Mazu deity, often called a protector of seafarers and worshiped by Chinese language communities all over the world for hundreds of years, is particularly standard in Taiwan. The Dajia Jenn Lann Temple in Taichung metropolis organizes an annual 300-kilometer nine-day pilgrimage with a statue of the goddess that attracts tons of of 1000’s of followers.
The pilgrimages and associated festivals have shaped what is named the “Mazu economic system,” referring to donations and spending on Mazu-themed merchandise and enterprise alternatives surrounding the faith.
Dajia Jenn Lann Temple, which dates again to the Qing Dynasty within the 1700s, has determined so as to add a Net 3.0 aspect to its actions. It’s minting and promoting sea goddess non-fungible tokens (NFTs) that act as a precedence go for the pilgrimage that often occurs within the Spring.
The MazuDAO NFTs went on sale in August at NT$ 18,880 (US$615) by means of the temple’s e-commerce platform MazuBuyBuy and elsewhere. Up to now, the temple has minted and offered more than 2,800 NFTs.
“Based on estimates the nine-day pilgrimage can generate greater than NT$5 billion (US$163 million) in spending. On the day when Mazu returned to the house temple, we noticed about 500,000 folks becoming a member of the pilgrimage,” Mingkun Cheng, vice chairman of the board of the Dajia Jenn Lann Temple, instructed Forkast.
Extra youthful persons are becoming a member of the pilgrimage so the MazuDAO NFTs attraction to them, stated Cheng.
Many conventional cultural actions are adapting to digital and technological innovation, Mao-Hsien Lin, an affiliate professor of Nationwide Taichung College of Training’s Taiwanese languages and literature division, instructed Forkast.
Nevertheless, Lin, who researches Mazu faith, stated many elder followers should not so positive in regards to the developments.
“They like the bodily contact and the direct contact with the statue of the deities,” Lin stated. They aren’t so positive that in the event that they worship on-line that the deities are additionally on-line to listen to their prayers.
Nevertheless, Lin stated the pilgrimage precedence perk for NFT holders may not be too engaging for conventional believers.
“Usually once we pray, the gap between you and the statue doesn’t actually matter. It’s not such as you’d get particular therapy for those who’re nearer,” he added. “It’s changing into a bit too commercialized.”
To faucet into the market of conventional believers, the NFT undertaking staff organized offline advertising campaigns — an strategy totally different from most NFT initiatives that prioritize on-line advertising channels.
Jerry Yan, undertaking lead of MazuDAO, instructed Forkast that many elder followers didn’t also have a smartphone and “very a lot dwell in a Net 0.0 world.”
“We needed to arrange promotional cubicles in entrance of the temple to introduce MazuDAO NFTs to these Web0 believers,” Yan stated, including in addition they wanted a landline customer support staff as a result of it was the one solution to attain older temple followers.
“Usually on the telephone, we’d ask them to name for his or her grandchildren to assist out and arrange crypto wallets on their behalf.”
Cheng stated that the temple has approved some on-line distributors to make use of its Mazu mental property to make merchandise on the market on its e-commerce platform MazuBuyBuy.
Lin the researcher stated Mazu has turn into a highly-commercialized mental property in Taiwan, with Mazu-themed merchandise in comfort shops and on main on-line procuring websites.
“Once more, I believe a big a part of the essence of faith lies in providing that psychological consolation for believers. It’s not essentially an excellent factor if it will get too commercialized,” Lin stated. “If we see the deity as a enterprise generator, it could lose a way of divinity.”
Nonetheless, Cheng of the Dajia Jenn Lann Temple stated the temple’s annual pilgrimages have attracted an rising variety of youthful folks and lots of submit movies of the competition and the pilgrimage on social media platforms reminiscent of Instagram and YouTube.
A Korean YouTuber based mostly in Taiwan (often called Korean Kimchengu, actually “Korean enoki mushroom”) joined the pilgrimage final yr and made a video that has gained over 580,000 views.
Logan Beck, an American YouTuber based mostly in Taiwan, additionally uploaded a video of the 2021 pilgrimage, which now has greater than 405,000 views.