Coral Restoration Foundation™ is at the forefront of innovation in more than just coral restoration. We began accepting cryptocurrency donations in 2021 and the corals have felt the benefits!
Many currencies are now incorporating automated giving opportunities to their communities. So, when Keiko Token's community voted to support Coral Restoration Foundation™ we spoke to one of their founders, Ryan, about his connection to the ocean and why he feels optimistic about the capacity of crypto to help scale up reef restoration efforts around the world.
Keiko Token founder Ryan sees hope for the future of our oceans and global ecosystems.
What is your earliest memory of the ocean?
When I was 5 or 6, my family drove down to Rhode Island to visit some relatives that lived in one-of-those very old, small and comfy coastal towns that looked like something straight out of a movie. We spent the days playing in the water, chasing crabs, exploring the rock pools, walking up and down the piers and watching in awe as a swarm of jellyfish floated by.
I’ll never forget the fun I had discovering the ocean as a kid and I look forward to introducing my future children to its wonders. This is one of the reasons I am passionate about the ocean and am doing everything I can to help ensure future generations are able to experience the same things I did.
What is your favorite marine creature?
This question should be difficult to answer because of the extensive and diverse marine life our oceans hold, but I have always been amazed by the size of the blue whale. I remember being a young student, learning about blue whales and the fact that they can be as large as two school buses in length. The bus ride home that day helped me realize the actual size of the blue whale and it changed my perspective on life.
Have you experienced a healthy coral reef ecosystem?
My family moved from Canada to Australia when my dad accepted a spot in a teacher exchange program. During the summer break, we would pack into our old 1980’s WV van and drive across the country, stopping in small towns and national parks along the way.
One of those stops happened to be at the Great Barrier Reef. As an 11 year old, I remember being absolutely amazed by the vibrant colors of the coral reef and what seemed like an impossible amount of sea life. It sparked a desire to become a marine biologist and while that didn’t come to be, I still have a grand love for the oceans.
A vibrant underwater refuge of restored staghorn corals on Carysfort Reef in Key Largo, Fl ©Alexander Neufeld/Coral Restoration Foundation™
Have you seen a badly degraded reef system?
I have only seen videos of the degrading reefs and it’s a saddening sight. Each time a coral reef dies the ocean loses a bit of color, creatures lose a home and sources of food. If things keep going the way they are, future generations will only know of them via stories and archived footage.
What concerns or scares you the most about climate change?
Its affect on coral reefs. If the coral reefs are dying, it’s a sign that the oceans are not in a healthy state. If coral reefs are suffering, other marine lives are as well; and more than 3 billion people rely on the ocean for their livelihoods. Something needs to be done.
Why do you, personally, care about coral reefs?
Experiencing the Great Barrier Reef at a young age had a huge impact on me. The realization that there is a world full of life hidden just below the surface piqued my interests in studying the oceans and becoming a marine biologist. I believe that children need to see and experience these wonders of the world to truly understand and appreciate them. Pictures, video, and audio simply cannot recreate these awe inspiring moments.
Why is protecting and restoring coral reefs relevant to your brand?
Our goal at Keiko Token is to raise money for charities and awareness campaigns for whales as well as other sea creatures and their ecosystems.
We have seen the beauties of coral reefs and understand their importance to the overall health of the ocean. We would love to help ensure they survive for our children and future generations to experience as well.
Why should the average person care about coral reefs?
If the coral reefs are suffering from climate change and pollution, it is a sure sign that other marine lives are also facing a similar crisis. As the coral reefs die, so do the creatures that live within it. The ecosystem relies on many moving parts and if one stops, it affects everything that lives within.
All of those vibrant colors become dull and gray, and what was once an ecosystem thriving with life, is now a dead, colorless husk. Humanity relies on the ocean in many ways, and if we cannot keep it healthy, we will all suffer.
In your opinion, what are some of the most powerful tools at our disposal that we can apply to the mission to save coral reefs?
I believe passionate and innovative individuals as well as new technologies will play a huge role in restoring our planet to its former beauty.
One example is the cryptocurrency I helped develop, Keiko Token. We have implemented a 2% transaction tax which goes towards charity organizations and bringing awareness to the dangers whales and their environments are facing.
Our community is dedicated to the cause and has raised over $100,000 since its creation a month ago. As a community, we research charity organizations and then vote on which one receives the donations.
What do you think are some of the easiest ways that the average person can join the mission to save coral reefs from extinction?
Donations and social awareness campaigns.
I feel that while people care about coral reefs and ensuring they survive, most live too far away to see the problem firsthand, and/or they do not understand the consequences we will face with oceans that are too polluted to support coral.
I believe that the digital age and new technology is our most useful tool in the fight against coral reefs going extinct. We must show people what is happening in real time, as well as before and after footage to show how quick and destructive pollution can be to the ocean. We need people to know that we can make a difference and that organizations such as Coral Restoration Foundation™ are working hard to make sure the reefs survive for future generations to experience.
Do you think there is hope for our coral reefs?
I believe there is a future with healthy coral reefs but they will not be as plentiful as they have been in the past. With organizations such as the Coral Restoration Foundation™ and the countless marine biologists and volunteers working together with one goal in mind, we can ensure that coral reefs still thrive in ecosystems protected from pollution and fishing.
Before and after photos of CRF™ corals returned to the wild. ©Alexander Neufeld/Coral Restoration Foundation™
Thank you to Ryan and his entire community for raising $5,000 through Keiko Token to support our work. The ocean is a strong and resilient community. There is hope for reefs when we work together!