This month, we joined forces with Blockparty to launch the first NFT (non-fungible token) digital art collection to benefit ocean science and research, which will send one collector (and their friends) on an epic shark research expedition in the Caribbean. The new collection will provide 68 unique opportunities to tag threatened reef and tiger sharks with cutting-edge technologies, all in the name of supporting long-term research and conservation.
Following cryptocurrency investors in currencies like Bitcoin and Dogecoin wanting to “go to the moon,” now our nonprofit wants crypto adventurers to explore new depths of our oceans, help empower leading scientists to make big discoveries, and do their part to preserve our fragile marine environment. In addition to creating a team of digital marine biologists through the purchase of shark tags, the 1 of 1 edition “DISCOvery Shark” is an NFT art piece that will send one lucky art collector to the Caribbean with our team, to experience shark research up-close on our private research vessel.
This collaboration originated as an idea from music industry veteran Malik Adunni of Gold Credentials, who witnessed the explosion of NFTs during the pandemic in part by way of their popularization on drop-in audio chat and social network Clubhouse. Inspired by 3LAU, a musician and early crypto and NFT adopter whose works have recently sold as NFTs for over $10M, Adunni thought it was the perfect storm to harness momentum and launch an NFT collection for good. A Board Member at Beneath The Waves, Adunni wanted to use his own life-changing experiences with sharks to connect our nonprofit with new communities in crypto, art and experiential.
“We thought, ‘What if we did a token for our NGO, so it’s for something both exciting and impactful?’,” Adunni says. “BTW is always cutting-edge, and sharks—at the top of the food chain—are a perfect symbol for any savvy crypto investor.” After speaking with the team at Blockparty, an NFT platform, the collection was born. It’s Blockparty’s first big splash into NFTs for social good. However, the organization is not new to building like this. Once Blockparty is integrated on the Flow Blockchain, which is in progress, it will enable their NFTs to be minted in a more eco-friendly way.
Providing real-world access to cutting-edge shark research has always been at the core of Beneath The Waves, and this new NFT line promotes an even greater level of increased transparency for donors and investors: allowing purchasers to track where their money is going, as each NFT is tied to a specific shark tag or a hands-on expedition.“It just seemed like a natural progression of our storytelling, science, media, and brand—pioneering a new type of discovery and exploration,” explained Sami Kattan, our Director of Digital Media and creative director of the NFT collection. Kattan brought on Vlad Dumitrescu, a digital artist and early NFT enthusiast, to bring the vision to life. The music accompanying each art piece is a different segment from ‘Serengeti’ by Elle Jae, which suits the scene as the Beneath the Wave team refers to the Caribbean as the ‘Serengeti of the Sea’.
Social impact and media executive Justin Markell, founder of Stand With Impact, has joined as a partner on the pioneering effort. “This is the first NFT collection of its kind, which can set a real precedent, for good,” says Markell. “The collaboration reminds us that in lieu of new technology, we need each other and to show up for the planet.”