SEA Update / February 2024

SEA
7 min readFeb 19, 2024

Hey there, SEA supporters!

It’s been a while since our last update, and we have some catching up to do. Over the last six months there have been some extremely positive shifts here at SEA, some big steps forward in our project, and some major advances in our tech.

First up, to address the AI-analysed and geographically tracked elephant in the room (bit of an in-joke there, check our last Medium post) — yes, the goals we set out at the start of 2023 have become somewhat fluid. Last year we planned to release our software in Beta, launch the VSEA token, get our product to market and start seeing the impact, both environmental and financial, of our data ecosystem.

Whilst those goals obviously haven’t emerged, we want to show first of all that they haven’t changed, but that the pathway to achieving them has been modified. We’re as focused as ever on getting there, but the route is different.

The key to the problem is, as usual, funding. We all know the stats: 90% of startups fail, usually because their cash runway is exhausted before they get their product into the market and start generating revenue. Precisely this happened to SEA in 2022. We successfully completed the research project funded by the Algorand Foundation, on time and on-budget; at the end of that project, Algorand (like every other tokenised ecosystem, including SEA BSC) crashed, pulling the wind quite suddenly from our sails. With a global bear market looming, investors battened down the hatches and the resources we needed to push things forward did not materialise.

There’s one big difference between SEA and those 90% of startups that, presented with the situation described above, fail. That difference is simple: we’re not giving up.

We know that what we’re building is going to work, we know that there’s exponential growth in demand for our product (hyper-local environmental data), and we know that the impact our tech will make — the predictive power of a decentralised global monitoring network — is more important than ever. Our conviction to this idea is so strong, that we’ve pushed through the low point where those 90% of startups fail. Ever seen a coyote in a forest fire? They lie down, face the fire, wait for it to almost overwhelm them, then they run straight into it at full speed. They get out the other side — slightly singed, but alive.

How did we push through that low point, without funding? Simple — our core team are 100% dedicated to making our project successful, and we’ve been working on the Nexus non-stop, giving as much time as we can pro-bono, and contributing our own resources to cover costs such as development infrastructure, project overheads, and so on. We’ve put ourselves and our resources on the line to bridge the gap created by the last year of poor market conditions, and to get SEA to the next stage of development. Like we said, we’re not giving up.

Let’s address some of the questions which have been floating around recently:

Q: Why hasn’t VSEA launched?

A: To launch a token on the scale of VSEA, you need capital. Not pre-seed capital, not friends-and-family capital; serious capital. You need liquidity, listing fees and more. When “crypto winter” struck in 2022, the people and organisations we had in the frame to supply that capital stopped spending (quite understandably). Without that investment, we can’t launch VSEA.

Q: Why not “fair-launch” the VSEA token, or just launch it with a smaller amount of liquidity?

A: We’re not about to do our project the disservice of launching a poorly resourced token, or releasing half-made tech. We’re going to do this properly. It’s going to take longer, but it’s going to be worth it.

Q: Why hasn’t the SEA Nexus launched yet?

A: The best way to answer this is to decribe what we have done, rather than what we haven’t. We completed the research stage (researching device capabilities, decentralised storage, earth observation methods, citizen science protocols and much mroe), built a working POC of the consensus mechanisms required to validate incoming environmental data, and laid out the development plan for the next stage of our project. That’s where the Nexus is at right now. We’ll describe the next stages, how we intend to achieve them, and when we’ll get there, in the remainder of this post.

Q: Why has it been so quiet at SEA? Where are the competitions, weekly AMAs, etc?

A: When we completed our research stage and exhausted the budget for that work package, we did the right thing for our project and cut our resource usage to the absolute minimum whilst we sourced the funding to progress. The SEA team was reduced back to its core members, those who believe in the project enough to keep working on it pro bono. Those of us who remain have been putting our time into SEA for the last year, and we’re making progress. However, it makes a lot more sense for us to spend the hours we can give to the project on fundraising, development, and planning, rather than marketing and community management. When we hit our funding goals (see below) and start to expand the team again, we can start to widen our focus, and those fun days will return.

Perhaps the most important question, and the one most of you are no doubt keen to see answered: what does the future hold for SEA?

First, the funding plan. When crypto funding dried up in 2022, plenty of non-crypto projects kept building, fundraising and progressing. How come? Because projects with real world utility, with products not based in or reliant upon decentralised finance, creating value outside of crypto — those projects have access to other funding streams. SEA fits into that category. Our product — environmental data — will supply one of the fastest growing industries on the planet. Our potential revenue is an attractive prospect for investors and grant-makers. This opens up funding pathways to us which other projects would not be able to access.

We’re obviously not at liberty to lay out here our precise funding plans — the who, what and when of how we’ll be moving forward financially — but we can reveal some broad strokes.

First up, we’re working with a UK governmental grant funding body to secure the resources we need to complete the development of our MVP. Government funding process move slowly, so patience is required. If we’re successful in our tender, which we’re confident we will be, we will have the funds in place by Spring 2024. This is a grant, not a loan or investment for equity or tokens, which is great news for SEA BSC holders, and the future holders of VSEA. We feel strongly that the environmental benefit our project offers, not to mention the huge potential benefit to the UK economy, means that the UK government has a responsibility to support our development.

Next, we’re in talks with a number of investors, crypto and non-crypto, who are ready to invest given a successful grant result. When that positive grant result comes in, it conveys a clear message — the UK government believes in the potential of our project enough to back it financially. If they believe in it, our potential investors will too. We have investors in the frame ready for that moment, to supply the rest of the resources we need, to take the project forward once the Nexus is ready to go.

To be clear — the grant funding we’re waiting on will pay for the the remaining development work on our apps and data ecosystem. Once we get the grant in place, we start the final stages of development.

Split into three development sprints, and taking place from May 2024 — June 2025, this will be a period of intense activity and progress, which will take place openly — we can’t wait to keep you updated on our progress as we build the MVP. By August 2024 we’ll be able to demonstrate a large-scale prototype of the full Nexus system for you; by November 2024, you’ll be able to sign up for alpha testing of our apps. The first mainnet release of the Nexus will launch in June 2025, and that’s when we’ll launch VSEA (earlier release phases will use testnet).

While we wait for the result of our funding bid, we have work to do. We’re getting the right expanded team together, ready to start work on the final dev sprints. We’re tightening up the commitments from investors to step in when the time is right. We’re refining the specs for the Nexus, streamlining the project plan, and adding to the research data we’ve built up. New devices emerge every month, and we need to keep on top of their capabilities.

As we’re sure everyone is aware, there’s also a possibility that things in the blockchain and crypto industries could be looking up over the next 12 months. Whilst we’re certainly not relying on it, the timing would be great! Q4 2024 / Q1 2025 is looking like it might be a pretty great moment to announce a blockchain-related MVP.

We’ll be posting updates about our pre-sprint progress over the coming months. In the meantime we appreciate, as always, the ongoing support of our brilliant community — it’s been a winding road, and there’s some way yet to go, but SEA’s team is more committed than ever to reaching our goal.

Questions, comments? Reach out to us at hello@sea.earth, or join our Telegram.

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SEA

A revolutionary blockchain project designed to save our seas. https://sea.earth