Shipwreck ICOs: Clear Sailing or a ‘Load of Ship’?

Old Ships, New Tech

Shipwrecks have always been a source of fascination to people from all walks of life. From old sailors who bandy rumors of lost riches, to historians wondering what secrets their submerged hulls may be hiding.

Shipwrecks are history, but in the crypto world they are being championed as the future, and multiple advocates are pursuing ICOs that promise the rewards of sunken treasure to investors.

It’s difficult to understate the impact of the rapid advance of technological progress on marine salvage missions.  Sharing research is much easier now thanks to digital communication, and amateur shipwreck sleuths can join the hunt using everyday tech like Google’s satellite maps.

Shipwreck fever has never been higher, and so an ICO advancing a marine salvage operation sounds like an exciting, potentially profitable endeavor. Yet it’s also one that has attracted an abundance of skepticism, especially following revelations in July that the South Korean government would investigate the Shinil Group following grave doubts over their claim of locating a Russian shipwreck.

Shipwreck ICO
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Treasure lurks in the deep, waiting for discovery Image credit: By Nilfanion – Wikimedia UK, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=47673555

Who Is the Captain Here?

While the idea of a shipwreck ICO is unquestionably exciting and potentially very rewarding, it does tread over some challenging terrain. Not only is the ownership of many shipwrecks often in dispute, but so too can a shipwreck also hold a cultural heritage that is contested among various nations and groups.

They can also hold a more simple claim, which nonetheless remains a complicating one. Many dive groups and charters may already make use of a shipwreck as an attraction, and depend on it as an ongoing source of income. While the idea of raising a ship or recovering its cargo is undoubtedly romantic, there are many parties around many wrecks who want them to stay sunk.

Even when a shipwreck is discovered anew, it’s possible there can still be a historic claim to it. Whether that claim is successful or not, it can kick off a potentially very expensive legal challenge, meaning any potential profitability a salvage group may have had upon finding a new ship may never materialize, and worse, ultimately leave them in debt from the expense of litigation.

Diving in Deep

To casual observers it seems like human beings have been searching and recovering ships almost as long as they have been getting sunk, thanks in no small part to TV documentaries and blockbuster movies like Raising the Titanic.

But in reality the process has so often been a painstaking and intensive one, with the risks involved in a recovery mission oftentimes outweighing the prospects of reward. The same can be said of shipwreck ICOs.

There is surely the potential for treasure to be found among ICO markets for a shipwreck coin that can translate its ambitions into action, and raise relics from below. It’s just also clear finding a credible ICO in this space will require a prospective investor to really examine critically whether there’s any realistic potential the promises outlined at the start could truly bear profit at the end.

 

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Ed Kennedy
Ed Kennedy is a journalist at BlockTelegraph News and a web developer from Melbourne, Australia. A keen technologist with an enduring interest in the rise of a truly digital global economy, Ed is passionate about the transformative potential blockchain offers our world.

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