Tulum, MX, a town rich in ancient Mesoamerican history in Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula’s Caribbean coast, witnessed its first ever cryptocurrency festival, Tulum Crypto Fest (TCF). Held on May 13th- 15th, TCF was a magical three day curation that fused the technology of crypto, blockchain, and web3 with Tulum’s iconic nature, jungle, and nightlife scenes.
There is a “Conscious Crypto” revolution taking place in the Quintana Roo Mexico region. TCF established itself as a leader, bringing together conscious crypto investors, decentralized finance pioneers, Web3 innovators, metaverse architects, and NFT artists all throughout the world.
Held among the pristine white sand beaches of Papaya Playa project, Tulum’s most popular event venue, TCF was “not your average” crypto conference. TCF united the two worlds of nature and technology through an IRL techno-luxury experience. With over 60 speakers and contributors, topics of conversation included bitcoin economics with Aaron Koenig, environmental effects of mining with Zac Safron, the future of crypto real estate with Miroslava Pineda Landa, NFT ticketing and event management via Ticket Fairy, designing the Metaverse with Pico Velásquez, how NFTs can save the rain forest with Nemus, a regenerative Tulum Coin DAO, and the importance of more women voices in crypto and Web3.
The Ancient Mayan World and the Evolution of Consciousness
What is Conscious Crypto? What is consciousness? It doesn’t necessarily take a trip to the Mayan ruins of Tulum to have a mystical experience to reach higher states of consciousness. However, the city of Tulum has profound roots in the evolution of our understanding of human consciousness. Tulum was once a major trading and religious center for ancient Mesoamerica and a prominent sacred city, inhabited by “Los Mayas,” the Mayans. In fact, the Mayan calendar and numerical system has been proven to be one of the most accurate systems for describing the present civilization in which we have evolved (individual, societal, universal), as well as a guide for what to expect for the future of human consciousness evolution. According to the Mayan’s nine level evolutionary system, humanity is reaching a deeper state of awareness, in which linear thinking is replaced by systems thinking. Linear thinking has boundaries and limitations, whereas systems thinking opens the possibilities of conscious co-creation for the benefits of a more inclusive, sustainable society that improves the nature and future of our planet. The Mayans explained that civilization would eventually reach a new system, a system of “Consciousness Co-Creation.” This is the era in which we live today.
Conscious Crypto Revolution in Tulum and Beyond
The theme of TCF was “Where Nature Meets Technology” and here are a few of my favorite crypto, blockchain, and NFT projects from the event with a more environmental, economical and socially conscious approach to these new technologies:
Re:Tzompantli – Tulum and Playa Del Carmen, MX: Arturo Zúñiga Vega, Mexican painter, muralist, and illustrator became tired of trash and plastic waste littered among the streets, jungle, and beaches of Tulum. One day, he decided to take action. For 3 months, he collected trash, and turned the trash into an art collection of 212 human skull sculptures. His intention was to raise consciousness and awareness around our wasteful consumerism habits. Our incessant consumption of non recyclable material goods without proper waste disposal practices has led to devastating environmental damage to our planet. Most of the garbage from single use objects that he gathered for his collection will take hundreds, if not thousands of years to decompose. Arturo’s project is called Re:tzompantli. Re:tzompantli is a play on words. The name comes from the classical Nahuatl language of the Aztec Empire. “Tzontli” means head or skull and “pantli” means row. Tzompantli means “Row of Skulls.” Re:Tzompantli is a combination of the words “recycle” and “tzompantli.”Mesoamerican civilizations, both the Aztecs and Mayans of the Yucatan Peninsula, would create public displays of human skulls, typically from war captives, or as sacrificial offerings to the gods. Each physical skull art piece has been turned into an NFT on the Ethereum Blockchain, soon available for purchase on the Foundation.app. The whitepaper and roadmap will be released July 12. “I really hope with all my heart to touch your emotions, open your mind, and awaken your senses so that we become aware that the time to fix this problem is now, or there will be no more time.” -Arturo Zúñiga Vega
Grateful Giraffes, Tel Aviv, Israel: Grateful Giraffes was founded in January 2022 with the hope to solve a global mental health crisis spurred by the pandemic. When the world was in lock-down and we lived in isolation from friends and family, losing all original forms of social connection, we were forced to create new ways to consciously co-create and even survive. Founders Max Marine, Adar Weinreb and artist Olivia Chevallier created a solution through the development of the Grateful Giraffe NFT project. Grateful Giraffes are a global movement powered by a world-wide community who combine the ancient wisdom of daily gratitude rituals and meditation with modern technology to elevate human consciousness and our collective well-being – ultimately teaching us all how to rewire our brains to live happier, healthier, and more wholesome lives! By purchasing their NFT, you’ll receive premium lifetime membership to the House of Gratitude: a physical and digital wellness space designed to make gratitude practices more fun, easily accessible, and social. The House of Gratitude has two physical locations in Tulum, MX and Tel Aviv, Israel. You’ll also receive exclusive access to wellness retreats, the first which will take place on a Kenyan Safari this Fall.
Nemus, Brazil, Amazon Rain Forest: Charlie Graham, Co-Founder of Nemus spoke at TCF during a panel called “NFTs to Save the Planet.” Nemus is leading the way as an engine for positive change by using cryptocurrency to power a new model for environmental action. They’ve acquired 41,000 hectares (~100,000 acres) of at-risk land in the Amazon Rainforest, bordering the Purus river, near the city of Pauini in the state of the Amazonas. Each Nemus NFT is tied to a real world geolocation within this specific region. By purchasing an NFT, you are purchasing a portion of the sale of this land and you become a Nemus “Guardian” of nature. The remaining proceeds from the sale are stored in the Nemus treasury. The treasury money is used to fund land conservation projects such as rewilding and reforestation to attract the original biodiversity, flora, and fauna that inhabited these areas. Sustainable forestry practices will be upheld, where every single harvested tree is pre-approved by Brazilian legislation with a GPS location and ID number. This can correlate to a “natural blockchain” where the buyer of any timber product can digitally trace exactly where it was originally sourced, how it was processed, where it was shipped as well as monitor any negative effects on surrounding land that was done in the harvest process. Other treasury funding projects include land monitoring and enforcement with satellite imagery and drone footage to empower local authorities of any illegal squatting or clear cutting activities. Treasury money will also also be used to work with local indigenous populations to help them protect their own forest properties, and at their request, to include them in economically sustainable projects. For example, a co-op could establish generational wealth for indigenous populations through the harvesting of brazil nuts or acai located on their lands. Without this approach, some indigenous populations are left to sell their products to middlemen at a fraction of market value. The vision of Nemus is the epitome of a “Conscious Crypto” project that helps us rediscover our lost balance with nature.
MotusDAO, Mexico City, MX: I met Este while he was DJing the first night of the Crypto Fest at Downtown Tulum Hotel. Delightfully surprised, I found out he was also a psychiatrist who worked and toured the world with Dr. Patch Adams. Additionally, Este is a founding member of MotusDAO, a Universal Health Coverage System Service Network and Governing Council. It’s true that there are unmet healthcare needs throughout the world and only a select few people have access to high quality healthcare services. MotusDAO explains that our current world economic systems don’t fit human and planetary needs, leaving citizens throughout many countries in financial hardship and poverty with zero access to healthcare. MotusDAO is a Web3 subsystem that aims to support a vast array of applications and become the world’s first decentralized, mass-adopted Universal Health Care Coverage Network- powered on the Blockchain.
SonX, London, UK & Playa Del Carmen, MX: Consciousness Co-Creation means co-collaborating to treat one another with respect, dignity, and equality. Web2 technology has not been as kind to musicians or artists in this way, with many being taken advantage of for their gifts and talents. Musicians deserve more than the pennies they receive from monopolistic record labels and global streaming services. SonX is a next-generation fandom platform for musicians to more deeply connect with their superfans and share their latest songs, create exclusive experiences, share digital and physical merchandise products, and generate revenue streams that go directly back to the artist. Founded by Lee Gray, former Head of Talent & Creative Strategy at Sony Music Entertainment UK, and Lewis Donovan, former Lead Web Developer of Sony Music Entertainment UK, both saw the challenges of Web2 technologies for musicians, including piracy of digital content across the internet and manipulation by centralized tech companies who abused their position of power. In many ways, Web2 tech has left artists and musicians behind. It’s also targeted fans in data exposure attacks where their private information is exploited and used illegally. SonX wants to enhance the artist and fan experience through the power of blockchain and Web3 technologies, creating a more healthy ecosystem that benefits both parties. With SonX, there are no anonymous profiles, no trolling, no data piratization. It is a safe place where musicians can more genuinely connect with their superfans. SonX has created a purpose-driven NFT exchange platform running on a decentralized blockchain infrastructure. In return for interacting with your favorite artists, SonX will drop NFTs into your wallet which can later be traded or sold for exclusive experiences with the artist. This is a new paradigm shift for all fans. Rather than just consuming content on the current social media platforms that exist in Web2 (Facebook Twitter, Spotify, Youtube) SonX rewards fan behavior, benefiting both the superfans and the artists directly.
NFT Boutique / Unlockable Content Agency, Tulum, MX: Sandra Ponce de Leon and Chucho Escoto Faces, owners of the NFT Boutique and Unlockable Content Agency are Conscious Crypto pioneers, partnering with eco-conscious NFT collections that save the world and planet. They built a unique “holographic display” at TCF that featured several conscious NFT collections, including House of Panther (a project conserving the Mexican Jaguar in Quintana Roo), Cosmic Cats 420 (saving street cats in Tulum), Petgaseritos (in partnership with Petgas MX that is turning plastic found among the Tulum beaches into clean energy/fuel), the Eye of Soluminati, and Plantiver.se. Plantiver.se is a collection that is actually created by plants themselves! Each NFT is a representation of the physiological status of the plant that created the artwork. Sensory receptors are placed in the soil of the plants to monitor the plant’s physiology, translating data such as soil moisture and sunlight, to create stunning NFT artwork.
Crypto4schools: TCF was also committed to giving back to the community. $2,000 of the ticket proceeds were donated to Crypto School for kids, helping underprivileged Mayan Children learn the financial systems of the future.
There are infinite possibilities for more Conscious Crypto projects to be developed in Web3. Reach out to me if you have a project that you think we should know about to spread awareness!