Billionaires want to save the world with everything from electric cars to teleporting smart glasses, but the Bitcoin-powered Winklevoss twins might’ve just funded the most out-there scheme yet: resurrecting woolly mammoths.
Colossal aims to “restore Earth to a healthier state” by bringing back long-dead species with CRISPR — a process it calls “de-extinction.”
Woolly mammoths, now gone for 4,000 years, top Colossal’s list.
Founded by Harvard geneticist George Church, Colossal says breathing life back into mammoths will help restore the arctic tundra and repair damage done by climate change.
The mammoths (elephant/mammoth hybrids to be precise) will knock down trees to supposedly assist in restoring former Arctic grasslands.
In a recent interview, Cameron Winklevoss told Fortune: “I see Colossal as an opportunity to futureproof the environment and species.”
“They’re trying to solve an important problem — not just how to bring back extinct animals, but how to preserve the genetic record of threatened species.”
Colossal says it should have its first calves within six years.
Woolly mammoth resurrection a long shot
Resurrecting woolly mammoths to reverse climate change sounds far-fetched, and even Winklevoss is far from certain.
But he also sees a great chance to make bank (the Winklevoss twins are widely recognized as the first ever Bitcoin billionaires).
“Although it’s a moonshot, one probably fraught with risk and a ton of technical challenges, there is the potential for a very outsize return,” Winklevoss told reporters.
“There could be a lot of economic opportunity over time, which might include television or even parks for extinct animals, like Jurassic Park.”
Giving the mammoth a second chance isn’t the first eco-friendly initiative the Winklevoss twins have involved themselves with.
In June, the brothers acquired $4 million worth of carbon offsets — which they’ve pledged to continue buying until Bitcoin becomes completely carbon neutral.
It’s also not geneticist Church’s first run-in with the crypto world. Earlier this year, Protos reported his plans to auction an NFT of his genome, which Church sees as the next frontier in monetizing personal data.
Follow us on Twitter for more informed crypto news.