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Coin Ceylon launches ‘Yakka’ NFTs

Coin Ceylon launches ‘Yakka’ NFTs

19 Apr 2023 | By Shailendree Wickrama Adittiya

  • First Cardano NFT project to originate from SL features traditional masks

Sri Lanka’s traditional devil masks are making their way to the tech sphere through Coin Ceylon’s Yakka project, which the blockchain company claims is the first Cardano non-fungible token (NFT) project to originate from Sri Lanka. The project features 6,666 traditional “yakka” masks, of which 6,000 are 2D designs and 666 are 3D animated masks.

The project was launched on 6 April, where the audience was given a better idea of what NFTs are, the story behind Coin Ceylon, and how the Yakka project helps local artisans.

Addressing the gathering at the launch, the Coin Ceylon Community Manager Sanjaya Wanigasekera explained that the Coin Ceylon was founded in 2021, starting with the launch of Sri Lanka’s first stake pool for the Cardano blockchain. “We did receive quite a bit of quality feedback from the Cardano community as well as good feedback and the attention of the Cardano Founder Charles Hoskinson. Right after the event, we hosted a few community meetups; unfortunately, due to Covid-19 restrictions, we had to host those community meetups virtually,” Wanigasekera explained.

He added that they introduced the Coin Ceylon forum in 2021 to cater towards the blockchain community, giving like-minded individuals a platform to ask questions and share knowledge. The latest Coin Ceylon milestone is the Yakka project.

Traditional masks turned NFTs

NFTs, Coin Ceylon Founder and CEO Kavinda Kariyapperuma said, are unique digital assets that represent anything from artwork to collectibles and virtual real estate. They are digital certificates of authenticity and ownership.

“NFTs have been making waves in various industries. For example, artists are using NFTs to sell their digital art; musicians are releasing their album covers as NFTs; and sports teams around the world are releasing NFTs as digital collectibles,” Kariyapperuma said, adding that NFTs go beyond art and collectibles. “They are also helping to create positive change in the world through projects built on blockchains like Cardano.”

Kariyapperuma went on to say that this was the first time a project of this kind that helps the community was originating from Sri Lanka. He explained that NFTs can empower local artists, revitalise traditional art forms, create new economic opportunities, and connect Sri Lanka to the world.

In terms of the Yakka project, Kariyapperuma said it represents a part of our culture, and that through the project, the Coin Ceylon aims to revolutionise the world of NFTs by bridging the physical world with the digital world like never before.

“Our vision to create these masks originated after a long period of research that myself and our team did in Sri Lanka. What we wanted to do was create awareness for these artisans and this art and the talent and the passion behind these masks. We wanted thousands of households around the world to know these masks,” he shared.

Having seen the potential of growth for traditional masks, Coin Ceylon developed a strategy to connect digital and physical art through rewards, gifts, collaborations, events and special excursions to exotic destinations. “We are committed to giving back to the community through donations, professional assistance, and sustainable initiatives. Our Yakka community will enjoy rewards, virtual and physical interactions, travel and hospitality rewards, raffles and so much more.”

The 6,666 unique NFTs are available through minting, trading and air drops, and holders of the unique NFT masks will be eligible to a range of benefits, including the opportunity to have a physical mask shipped to their location. In addition to this, three holders selected through a draw will receive a fully-sponsored one-week vacation in Sri Lanka, where they can witness sacred dance rituals, experience the mask-making process, and discover the beauty of the island. 

The Coin Ceylon will be directing a portion of rewards to helping the artisans once they reach 50% of Yakka NFT sales. This support will come in the form of equipment, financial assistance and marketing support to build their livelihood and ensure this art form continues to thrive in the generations to come.

“Our commitment to community development extends to educational, professional and development initiatives. We will be working very closely with local organisations to provide resources, workshops and mentorship programmes to empower individuals and help them develop valuable skills to take this mask to the next level,” Kariyapperuma further added.

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