There's a crypto company that pays you back after it finds shipwreck treasure -- and it just found some shipwreck treasure

Picture: Pirates of the Caribbean, Walt Disney Studios

Of all the cryptocurrencies and ICOs currently trying to find ways to lever money out of people who have too much, Galleon Quest actually guarantees a return.

Not in money, obviously. No ICO can do that.

But at least you’ll have fun trying if you buy into Galleon Quest’s pre-ICO phase as it launches SEA Coin.

The first thing you need to know is Galleon Quest is based on the tiny Caribbean island of Nevis. That makes sense for a shipwreck-hunting outfit, because Spanish galleons and all that, but Nevis is also often in the headlines for being a very secretive, and beautiful, tax haven.

It’s also an “ICO-friendly jurisdiction”.

Anyhoo.

Galleon Quest does have a perfectly pirate-like landing page:

And crucially, some credibility, in the form of Dr. E. Lee Spence, who found his first shipwreck in 1959, when he was 12.

In 1972, he found the wreck of the Confederate submarine Hunley — the first submarine in history to sink an enemy ship — which was at the time described as “the most important underwater archaeological discovery of the 20th Century”.

Spence has found hundreds of wrecks, written dozens of books and is considered a founding father of marine archaeology. Personally, he claims to have salvaged over $US50 million in artifacts and been responsible for locating wrecks that have returned over $US1 billion in treasure.

Spence and the non-profit research organisation he is president of, the Sea Research Society, recently found a cluster of shipwrecks around a shoal located over three miles off Cape Romain, South Carolina.

Spence obtained ownership of them, and “entered into an agreement with Galleon Quest” for their salvage.

Within the first hours diving on the site, eureka — the first haul contained copper and brass ships’ spikes and nails, and “at least one rare ship’s deck prism”, Galleon Quest says. This is a ship’s prism:

Picture: Galleon Quest/YouTube

The site contains wrecks from the 1790s through to the 1850s, and given the returns from the first dive, Spence is expected to recover all the proper gold, silver, jewelry and historic artifacts regular people like you and I would expect.

So what happens next? SEA Coin.

Galleon Quest’s plan is to back SEA Coins with the recovered artifacts and treasure. The sales of “some portion” of those will be used to return dividends to SEA Coin holders.

There are about 52 days before SEA Coin goes live, so expect a bunch more finds by Spence and his team to surface between now and then.

Even the road to ICO is a challenging treasure map:

Picture: Galleon Quest

Around here is where we remind you that this is absolutely not financial advice.

Would I invest in SEA Coin? Yes, because shipwrecks to me are about as exciting as life gets, and to be personally involved in any way on a dive for one is another reason to get out of bed every day.

My experience with ICOs — writing about and investing in — says that the worst reason to buy into one is to make money.

But if an ICO offers you something beyond a thin-air figure, something tangible that keeps you tuned in to its progress, then at least you know you’ll get paid back in some way.

For me, it’s trading a couple of do-nothing Ether for the thrill of hunting gold in the Caribbean. And yes, there’s a chance of really hunting gold in the Caribbean.

Here’s what Galleon Quest says about that:

With some levels of investment, we are planning to arrange visits at one of the recovery operations. While this will not mean you can necessarily dive due to the dangers and liability, the opportunities to be there will likely be offered.

Consider this fool and his Ether parted.

If you need me, I’ll be watching this footage of the first dive:

NOW WATCH: Tech Insider videos

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.