Made it through Armageddon 2020

Reading this article, you may find it to be slightly depressing, but I promise a light at the tunnel’s end.


We can all agree that 2020 is one of the weirdest years ever, right?

Before the 2020 US Election, Area 51 raid (or lack thereof), the Pentagon confirming UFO’s exist, World War 3 memes, monkeys rioting in Thailand, Tiger King, and Asian Murder Hornets making their way to the United States — where do I even begin to start writing? I know what you’re thinking:

“Why is he talking about this on an Atheneum publication?”

Because 2020 was a ridiculous year. That’s why. And sometimes, it helps to bring perspective to remind people where we are at and why. You might read this and think about how crazy the last year was, perhaps even relate in some way.


Atheneum had quite a bit going for itself. We had two full-stack developers making great progress on our educational platform. We got listed on a larger exchange, Crex24. We even peaked into the Top 200 cryptos based on marketcap. That was an amazing feeling.

Then, in about September 2019, both developers got very busy in their personal lives and needed to step down from the project. All platform work halted, no one to add more code or endpoints. No one to finish our payment gateway so we could begin transacting AEM for educational material.

Not going to lie, it was discouraging. I don’t cast blame on those individuals or fault them in any way, but internally, my emotions were telling me,

“Well, what the heck do we do now?”

For 2019’s remaining months, I tried searching for full-stack developers who were willing to step in to fill their shoes. We had plenty of AEM in storehouse, but that kind of help is tough to find when you can’t pay in USD, or in the least Bitcoin. The project’s predicament more or less brought our team’s minds to a passive state, not certain what to do or where to go from here.

Then 2020 Happened

I’m not sure how much I want to revisit about that year. Let’s start off with the good I guess.

The Good

My wife and I bought our first house. My day job as the creative director at a solar company was going well and we managed to remain busy through Covid-19.

The Bad

Atheneum had stalled. Covid-19 became the hot topic and the bickering between two opposing views wouldn’t stop. One day a part from each other, I lost a father-figure to cancer and a brother-figure to a heart attack. Election madness, enough said.

All of this convalesced into a state of depression regarding Atheneum. Part of me wanted to continue, then 2020 would smack me in the face again. It was a viscous cycle.

This is how my year went and know it was somewhat similar for many others among our team and community.

The Tunnel’s End

There was at least something significant that came from 2020 — I started my own WordPress website development company. Prior to this venture, I had built a few websites on WordPress as a hobby to get a feel for web building, including the one for my solar company. That experience enabled me to confidently incorporate and acquire my first client, on which I built their site over a few weeks.

With this progress in my personal life, I took it upon myself to do something bold and a little scary: build the platform myself. Now, when I say “myself”, I mean get it started myself in that moment. We do have talented team members capable of developing WordPress sites to complement the work I’m doing.

The revenues I’ve generated from my personal company allowed me to acquire the tools necessary to structure a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) on WordPress. That’s everything from membership, hosting, to the learning management system, web optimization, and more. So I began throwing at the wall to see what stuck.

Here are a few snips from the home page:

Further, our Alpha platform now accepts Students and Instructors to signup by creating an account then logging into their Dashboard.

Withdrawal methods and payments aren’t yet active, but will be in the coming months. I’m so ready to transact in $AEM.


While things surely haven’t happened the way I thought they would, I am content to be where I am now. And just maybe the time of letting Atheneum sit on the backburner was the universe allowing us to catch our breath, that we might take another plunge deeper.

Since I began developing the platform myself, it’s been encouraging to see the market response, even more so in just last the few weeks. I keep coming back to the 180-day chart. To me, it shows the larger picture — our project lull and project momentum. The Yin and yang. I come back to this because it encourages me to keep pressing forward.

At the time of writing this article, Atheneum has a Market Cap of $727,525. What happens when we begin transacting in $AEM? How about when we finally realize our goal of providing educational credential validation through blockchain? Sure, our Market Cap is a financial market calculation and perception used for project valuation, but how valuable would it be to the student sending a future employer their resume along with blockchain-verifiable credentials?

I can’t wait for that day. I want to shake their hand and say thank you.


Marshall ClarkCEO, Atheneum Blockchain