FishcoinOA Named A Finalist In The MIT Solve Challenge!

A win-win for academia, industry, community, and conservation

Coral bleaching at Heron Island Feb 2016. Credit: The Ocean Agency, XL Catlin Seaview Survey, Richard Vevers

Fishcoin is excited to announce that our entry, FishcoinOA, to the MIT Solve Challenge has made it to the finals! “Solve is an initiative of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) that advances lasting solutions from tech entrepreneurs to address the world’s most pressing problems. Each year, Solve issues four Global Challenges to find the most promising Solver teams who will drive transformational change. Solve then builds and convenes a community of leaders and changemakers to form the partnerships these Solver teams need to scale their impact.” Our entry, FishcoinOA, competing in the Coastal Communities challenge, strives to answer the question “How can coastal communities mitigate and adapt to climate change while developing and prospering?” FishcoinOA is honored to be one of 60 finalists selected from over 1,150 solutions entered by 110 countries.

But what is FishcoinOA? It’s a project that combines seafood traceability with ocean acidification research. Watch the video below for a quick summary.

The “OA” in “FishcoinOA” stands for “Ocean Acidification,” the rapid decrease in our ocean’s pH due to CO2 emissions that has resulted in our oceans being 30% more acidic now than they were 200 years ago. Ocean acidification is expected to cost the world economy $1Trillion a year by the end of the century, and is a threat to human food security, the loss of which can lead to social disruption, migration, and refugee situations. Clearly, we need adaptation and mitigation strategies, pronto. But identifying potetial strategies requires data, lots of it.

Enter FishcoinOA. FishcoinOA takes our open and immutable Fishcoin network’s unique ability to incentivize data collection across the supply chain and uses it to enable low-cost, hyper-localized, and inclusive scientific research. In FishcoinOA, fishers play a critical role. By hooking up their boats with a bit of tech, they’re not only a valuable source of food, but also of data. Just as a satellite roams the Earth collecting image data, these fishers will roam the coastlines collecting environmental data! In exchange for submitting their data to the Fishcoin blockchain, the fishers will receive Fishcoin tokens. And remember, these tokens can be converted into top-up credits for prepaid mobile plans, so they’re pretty useful.

Once in the Fishcoin blockchain, the data becomes accessible for researchers to analyze, process, and submit additional information back into the blockchain so that it can be used by other researchers, companies, governments, and NGOs. Of course, accessing this data will require exchanging some Fishcoin tokens, just to make sure that everyone involved in gathering and handling this data is compensated appropriately.

FishcoinOA integrates not only the seafood industry into the Fishcoin blockchain, but entire communities. Everyone plays a part, and because of its built-in reward mechanism, everyone gets rewarded. FishcoinOA is the first project directly incentivizing ocean research and conservation through a blockchain. Its insistence on simple, affordable, scalable technology will dramatically lower research costs. And, by relying on fishers, FishcoinOA transforms the research process from being disengaged and often exclusionary; to accessible, inclusive, and connected to the communities from which its data is sourced, and the management decisions that are based off of it.

We’ve got a lot of ideas of the kinds of data we will collect, and the things we can do with it (think pH, temperature, salinity, etc; and high-resolution maps depicting coastal conditions) but we’re certainly open to suggestions. If you’ve got a creative idea for FishcoinOA’s data, or want to get involved, please don’t be shy! Reach out; we’d love to hear from you.

Solve will open a voting period on our website. We encourage your friends, family, and followers to log into the platform so that they can vote on the best solutions and provide feedback. Voting will close at 5:00 PM ET on September 21. The finalists with the most votes will be awarded a non-monetary Solve Community Award at the Solve Challenge Finals.We invite you to find out more by visiting our entry and vote for FishcoinOA, on the Solve website, too.

Interested in becoming a Fishcoin partner?

Companies and organizations throughout the seafood industry are signing up almost daily to be rollout partners in the Fishcoin ecosystem. If you would like to know more about joining our community of partners please read through our white paper, and contact our team.