A dubious plan to insert Bitcoin into a mouse has been announced by a group of crypto enthusiasts.
The collective, called BitMouseDAO, says that the project will use "cold wallet technology" (storing the cryptocurrency offline), and then generate a private key offline.
They say they will take that key and work with a "biological company" to break it down into "corresponding ATGC sequence edited by quaternary encoding, which goes into the mice for fertilization."
When the mouse is born, it would supposedly have this private key hidden inside its DNA – on a non-useful protein so that the mouse will not be harmed.
“Ideally the offspring of the BitMouse would also carry the private key,” BitMouseDao said in a statement.
"We would make specimens of them to sell at auction after they die of natural causes," they write, with the physical specimens inspired by Damien Hirst's work with preserved dead animals.
They claim that "The animal cells will remain active under this preservation technique," but as the mouse will be dead it's not clear what is meant by "active".
"At that point, a single Bitcoin would split into multiple specimens, but as soon as someone breaks the specimen to extract the genetic information and thus remove the BitMouse, the other specimens would lose their value," they write.
"On the flip side, breaking the specimen and destroying the artwork may not even happen when bitcoins are worthless.”
Of course, as this is a crypto project we are talking about, NFTs are involved, with a non-fungible token being created based on an image of the mouse, and for any of the mouse's offspring.
The anonymous "artist" claimed that the idea started while they were sleepy.
"One night a few weeks ago, just as I was going to sleep, an idea flashed through my mind. Being the artist that I am, I put this fleeting idea down on paper the next morning," they write.
"Over the next few weeks I started looking around to see if it was possible to carry out the experiment. I was excited to imagine how this would affect us in the future."
It "started as a crazy idea to make a laboratory mouse carry a bitcoin inside its body", they added.
With little funding and no real purpose to it, it will likely remain that way.