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Bahamian startup using blockchain to find underwater treasure

Oceanographer and well-known explorer of the Titanic’s wreckage, David Gallo, has teamed up with blockchain-based treasure hunter, PO8, to begin searching for shipwrecks and their sunken riches in the waters of The Bahamas.

A press release announcing Gallo’s partnership with PO8 explained that the company suspects there are billions of dollars’ worth of sunken artifacts and treasures in these waters, “dating back to the Spanish galleon treasure ships of the Spanish Empire”.

“Gallo, a 30-year oceanography veteran and formerly the director of special projects at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts, will take on the role of vice president for exploration at PO8,” the release states.

“His illustrious career includes serving as the co-expedition leader to create the first detailed and comprehensive map of the RMS Titanic and the successful international effort to locate the wreck site of Air France flight 447.”

PO8 is a Bahamian group attempting to use blockchain technology to “democratize and decentralize” marine archaeology and revolutionize “crypto” for The Bahamas.

Bahamian-born co-founder and CEO Matthew Arnett, who is spearheading the blockchain project, said earlier this year that his idea was “inspired by the almost two-decade marine salvage moratorium preventing underwater expeditions in Bahamian waters”. He said the technology will help the country to retrieve historical artifacts that might be hidden beneath the seabed.

“PO8 is helping to solve a real-life problem for The Bahamas,” said Arnett.

“So much wealth and history are buried under our waters. And so much has been taken away in the past due to lack of oversight and transparency. The salvage moratorium is finally coming to an end with PO8. We look forward to working with The Bahamas to bring back these treasures.”

Arnett said PO8 is the first Bahamian blockchain startup that will “put The Bahamas on the world crypto stage”.

Blockchain technology will allow PO8 to tokenize underwater expeditions through decentralized applications, called Dapps, on the Ethereum network.

Gallo said in yesterday’s release that using blockchain for this type of exploration is the “most exciting project to come along in decades”.

“It encourages the development of new technologies and techniques for undersea exploration and visualization,” he said in the release.

“In doing so PO8 will accelerate the ability to locate, document and protect the precious artifacts of Bahamian undersea cultural resources.”

According to the release, PO8 is introducing a non-fungible token (NFT) and its PAZAR marketplace.

“NFTs are created by using ERC-721 tokens on the Ethereum blockchain and represent digital ownership of physical assets like the underwater artifacts PO8 will be recovering,” the release points out.

“Each distinguishable NFT has a smart contract containing unique asset data cryptographically certified, confirming ownership of the physical asset. NFTs will allow for the majority of PO8 artifacts to live on the blockchain and physically remain in the custody of the PO8 foundation for continued studies by the archaeology community and to be exhibited in various museums worldwide, while the ownership of the asset can be from anyone around the world.

“NFTs will be tradable on the PAZAR marketplace rolling out later in the year. PAZAR users will be able to buy, sell, auction, lease, trade and leverage their NFTs on the marketplace platform.”

PO8 said those tokens are currently on sale and the company is raising funds “by selling utility tokens for future use of the PAZAR marketplace”. To register for the token sale interested buyers have to visit


Chester Robards

Senior Business Reporter at The Nassau Guardian
Chester Robards rejoined The Nassau Guardian in November 2017 as a senior business reporter. He has covered myriad topics and events for The Nassau Guardian.
Education: Florida International University, BS in Journalism
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