NFTs for the sea: OpenEarth Foundation are using holographic NFTs to raise money for marine protection

Category: Crypto NTFs

One of the most prevalent complaints against NFTs and the Blockchain ecosystem in general has been their environmental impact. However, the OpenEarth Foundation’s OceanDrop NFT seeks to use the emerging technological niche to raise money for the environment.

The OceanDrop exhibit is supported by several stakeholders, including SuperRare, DoinGud and RNDR, whilst also utilizing cutting edge technology such as the use of holograms through a partnership with PORTL. This is also set to innovate the role of museums who could also come to use digital sculptures to enhance their ability to immerse an audience within a greater narrative.

The expo includes contributions from 21 artists including Nicole Buffett, the estranged granddaughter of the Oracle of Omaha Warren Buffett, Academy Award-winning digital artist Kevin Mack and globe-trotting digital artist Will Selviz.

Buffett, who had four collections released through OceanDrop all of which sold out in record time, argues that NFTs and the crypto-industry in general should cultivate a stronger attitude towards philanthropy, especially given the sheer amount of capital being generated in the area. To quote from an interview with CoinDesk, “I think there’s a lot of capacity, given the abundance of money generated in the space, to really be bringing in that culture of charity.”

Kevin Mack’s “Nammu”

In contrast to Buffet’s relative experience within the field, the OceanDrop auction was Kevin Mack’s opportunity to dip his feet into the water of the nascent NFT industry. Through a suitably haunting and lovecraftian piece named “Nammu: Ancient Elder From The Distant Future”, Mack condenses the visual flare of the deep sea he had experienced scuba diving in Southern California in his youth into an appropriately abstracted reflection of the marine biome. For him, getting into NFTs was a difficult choice due to the deeply polarizing nature of the burgeoning niche of digital art given that the “notion of imposing artificial scarcity on a thing that is infinitely reproducible without loss” may not sit well with a significant portion of people. This being said, he stated that the pragmatics of raising funds for a good cause eventually won him over as “if they can raise money to help the ocean, then yeah, I was willing to participate.”

Will Selviz, having stated himself to have a deep connection with the ocean and being amongst the first to lend a hand to ocean restoration, donated an animation named “Sin Agua No Hay Tiempo” (or “Without Water There Is No Time”). Selviz also sees the potential for NFTs to contribute to the creation of a community and to raise funds for charity. He himself is the founder of the RENDRD Foundation that seeks to provide aid to marginalized communities within the digital animation industry. To quote directly, Selviz elaborated how “all these things got me down this rabbit hole of figuring out how to fundraise and build a community through NFTs and crypto.”

In a broader sense, the Executive Director of the OpenEarth Foundation, Martin Wainstein, states that the initial goal of the Foundation was to use technology based on the Blockchain to acquire and utilize environmental data such as atmospheric carbon-calculations as well as realizing global agreements made to preserve 30 percent of both the ocean and the land. The money raised specifically from the NFT auction will be turned towards the eponymous OpenOcean program, funding a project on Cocos Island off the coast of Costa Rica that would support local operations to take care of the marine biosphere.

Cocos Island National Park hosts more than 200 different types of fish species. Image taken by Dmitry Miroshnikov

The massive success of OpenOcean’s previous auction CarbonDrop, which raised 6.6 million dollars, has allowed Wainstein to establish parallel programs and the ability to scale even as an NGO. This being said, the director elaborated that he prefers to remain conservative in his expectations when it comes to fundraising. In terms of OceanDrop, his target is $250,000, which would allow him to launch the program and hire a full-time team of oceanographers and blockchain professionals.

Story sourced from CoinDesk.

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