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Bahamian blockchain firm wins IDB award

A Bahamian technology company owner has claimed that technology will become the third economic pillar of the Bahamian economy, after his company was pegged as the firm with the best blockchain solution in the Caribbean, earning it a Creative Business Cup Award at the Inter-American Development Bank’s (IDB) Demand Solutions event in Chile in December.

The company, PO8, is led by Bahamian Matthew Arnett and co-founder Raul Vasquez. PO8 will use blockchain technology to tokenize underwater expeditions through decentralized applications, called Dapps, on the Ethereum network.

Mikia Carter, private sector consultant at IDB Lab, said PO8’s success highlights the depth of creativity in this country.

“This achievement demonstrates the significant potential of the innovation ecosystem in The Bahamas and highlights the creativity of Bahamian entrepreneurs,” said Carter.

PO8’s acquisition of the Creative Business Cup Award is the first for the Caribbean region.

“The team has found a way to improve the lives of fellow Bahamians by using blockchain technology and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) to recover and reshape the ownership of $100 billion in sunken treasures and artifacts, while driving sustained and inclusive growth to the region,” a release on the award states.

“NFTs convert ownership rights of recovered artifacts with economic value into a digital title, while staying 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.”

Last summer, oceanographer and well-known explorer of the Titanic’s wreckage, David Gallo, teamed up with PO8 to begin searching for shipwrecks and their sunken riches in Bahamian waters.

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

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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