Well folks, there it is — another quick spin round the sun, another cycle of seasons and a whole lot of change. 2022 was a big year for environmentalism, not just because of the rising stakes and accelerating urgency of the climate crisis, but also because these last twelve months have held some of the most audacious acts from both sides of the table. Extinction Rebellion, Just Stop Oil, Letzte Generation and many other individuals and groups have stepped up, risking personal safety and liberty to highlight the urgency of the crisis in a legal and media environment biased heavily against them; meanwhile new coal mining was approved by the UK government, Greenhouse gas emissions continued to rise in China, India and Russia, the point of no return for glaciers around the world passed us by, and a key UN report revealed that our planet is approaching irreversible climate breakdown.
In the world of blockchain, things have been equally tempestuous. Huge leaps forward in tech have been accompanied by financial chaos — Three Arrows Capital got wrecked, FTX got buried, and Tether untethered, just to mention a few of the upsets of 2022. It’s not all doom and gloom though — for organisations like SEA, this stormy environment has helped us focus on the things that matter. Of course, we all need a healthy, stable economy; but there’s a lot to be said for making your project resistant to turbulence, and making sure that you can build and move forward against any financial backdrop, nomatter how unstable.
This year has been formative for us. It’s been a year of planning and preparation; of slowly, carefully assembling the pieces required to get our project ready for launch. We’ve built our advisory board, assembled a funding network ready to support our new token, designed and built the tech required to transition holders onto VSEA, developed the core tech behind the Nexus, and much more. We’ve built a solid base, a platform from which we can launch in 2023. Let’s take a flying tour of the highlights of SEA 2022!
We launched into the year with a barrage of SEAstreams, bringing some of the most influential people in ocean conservation to your screens. We talked about plastic with Kendra Nelson, sharks with Brendon Sing from Shark Guardian, ocean farming with Roushanna Gray, bycatch with Simon Hilbourne, founder of Fish Free February, recycling with Siân Williams from Gili Eco Trust, sustainable scuba diving with Michelle Attard from Coconut Odyssey, citizen science with CoralWatch and a lot more. Check our Medium for the full library of articles and AMAs.
In March, we kicked things off with the announcement of our new COO, Milan (who you all know pretty well by now!), and our CTO Wolfgang. This brought the SEA Foundation team to full strength, with in-house expertise ranging from blockchain theory to freediving! We also launched a brand new look for SEA this month — our new, simplified brand was designed to unify the diverse elements of our project under one simple, strong identity.
April saw the launch of the VSEA airdrop window — the process by which existing holders of SEA (BSC) will have their holdings matched with VSEA. The airdrop window is now closed, with snapshots of all wallets stored, and we’re moving swiftly towards the launch of VSEA. Also in April, we made the first of several Advisory Board announcements — Indian blockchain powerhouse Raj Kapoor joined our team.
The advisory board was bolstered further in May with the addition of Alexis Grosskopf, co-founder and CEO of OceanHub Africa. In July, we added Victor Mapunga, co-founder and CEO of FlexFinTx. Most recently, in October, we announced the addition to our advisory board of Optio Capital — a critical partnership in shaping our project from a business, tokenomics and networks perspective. Optio have already been instrumental in streamlining our business processes and developing key relationships.
In September, our CEO James presented the SEA Nexus to a cohort of Algorand developers via Blockbeam’s “Gateway to Algorand” program — the Nexus is now a core part of the syllabus, taught as a case study to all students. Also in September, our COO Milan presented SEA projects at a Web3 Innovation for Climate Change event hosted by Algorand at the University of Cape Town, during the South African Innovation Summit, and hit Crypto Fest Cape Town to spread the news about our project.
In October we announced the SEA NFT & Governance program. It might seem at first glance like an exciting but minor side-project of the Nexus, but don’t be fooled — the NFT & Governance program will be the main instrument of environmental impact for SEA going forward. It’s through this exciting initiative that we’ll fund revolutionary projects, create new marine protected areas, support groundbreaking research and create important educational media. Also in October, we released a key update to our data licensing product — check that out here.
We rounded up the year with boots on the ground at Algorand’s annual conference Decipher 2022, a catalytic event which grew our networks and sparked some exciting new conversations around investment, awareness and collaboration.
2022 was, particularly for people in the western hemisphere, a crystalising moment for climate crisis — the year when the effects of global heating became plainly, painfully clear through freak weather events, previously unseen temperatures and unprecedented natural disasters. But whilst we can’t overlook the massive acceleration of the climate crisis in 2022, it’s important to acknowledge the beacons of hope. Renewable energy foged ahead in 2022, with solar power increasing by 50% in the EU. COP27 was largely a washout, but it did make initial ground on provisions for damage payments to countries adversely affected by climate change. And 2022 will almost certainly be remembered as the year when young people stepped up to protect our planet — more and more people are raising their voices and taking to the streets to champion radical change, and whilst the most entrenched sections of privilegded western society might lament the extreme tactics in use, nobody can deny the urgency of the problem.
Our wishes for next year? Well, we’re going to launch the SEA Nexus, our NFT & Governance Program, and our VSEA token. In 2023 we’ll create new marine protected areas, and bolster existing ones. We’ll launch literally hundreds of micro-projects, enabling communities to monitor, protect and campaign for their local environments. We’ll enable the worldwide tech community to access a global network of highly localised environmental data, enriching their existing applications and allowing for the creation of revolutionary new monitoring and predictive systems.
We want to thank everyone involved in our project, everyone with a vested interest who has stuck with us through the ups and downs of the last twelve months — this community is our most valuable asset, and our biggest inspiration. We know the last year has been difficult, both in environmental and financial terms, and we recognise the commitment of those of you who have continued to support our project.
Our biggest wish for 2023 is simple: let’s make it the year that we turn the climate crisis around. Let’s make 2023 the year when we stop oil, stop coal, stop fracking, and stop plastic. The year when we — all of us, from governments to consumers, corporations to collectives — recognise what’s at stake, see what we’ve already lost, and draw the line in the sand. If we continue as we are, all is lost; but radical change NOW will mean humanity has a future on Earth. Let’s make it happen in 2023!