PO8, a Bahamian tech company, is leveraging blockchain technology to excavate underwater artifacts for economic impact to The Bahamas. As part of its blue economy commitment to improve the country’s wealth and conserve its marine habitat, PO8 sees blockchain as a unique way to utilize the oceans’ very own resources like the $100 billion in sunken treasures and artifacts, to create sustainable sources of funding and jobs benefiting the Bahamian people.
Having spent the last 12 months building the marine archaeology Dream Team with the likes of Titanic expeditioner David Gallo, Amazon’s Apollo F-1 Engine recovery team member, Troy Launay and acclaimed Shipwreck researcher and author, Claudio Bonifacio; PO8’s cherry on the top will come in the form of blockchain-powered smart contracts.
Cryptographic tokens known as Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) convert ownership rights of recovered artifacts with economic value into a digital title or smart contract, while the physical artifact stays in the custody of the PO8 Museum Foundation to be preserved and exhibited. With a stored value derived from its underlying asset, NFTs can be sold to anyone around the world, creating trickle-down economic activity worth $60 million per year, adding over 100+ jobs at peak to The Bahamas.
“NFTs are a new store of value and commodity class, which is exactly what the blue economy needs right now, a new way to generate revenue and create true impact for island nations like The Bahamas,” says Matthew Arnett, Co-founder and CEO of PO8. “We are shifting The Bahamas from tourism to a new third pillar, which is tech, and now in tandem with our love for the ocean we aren’t just taking away, but giving back to the ocean, essentially feeding what feeds us,” added Arnett.
Considering many of the cargo from shipwrecks are metals, PO8 believes the effects of recovering the metal artifacts will ultimately be good on the marine ecosystem, given heavy metals affect fisheries and the marine habitat. Reef restoration is important for PO8, as they plan to restore any of the excavated areas with artificial reefs, resulting in new marine life habit.