Bitcoin billionaires are funding woolly mammoth resurrection project
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Bitcoin billionaires Tim Draper and the Winklevoss twins have thrown their funding weight behind a startup called Colossal, which aims to resurrect woolly mammoths to help combat climate change.
If Jurassic Park and other films like it have taught us anything, it’s that billionaires with a crapload of time on their hands love nothing more than the idea of massive extinct creatures roaming the earth.
What could possibly go wrong? (Actually, probably not much in this instance.)
And so this is exactly why famed crypto venture capitalist Draper and Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, the CEO twins of the Gemini crypto exchange and custody service, have contributed investments in Colossal, which closed a US$15 million funding round on September 13.
Colossal Laboratories and Biosciences is a “de-extinction”-focused bioscience startup firm founded by Harvard genetics professor George Church and entrepreneur Ben Lamm.
The firm aims to “resurrect” the woolly mammoth, which disappeared from the plains of Siberia some 4,000 years ago. And it plans to do so by altering the genetic code of endangered Asian elephants.
According to an article by Fortune, which interviewed Cameron Winklevoss on the subject, Church was part of a team in 2012 that pioneered DNA gene-editing technology.
The Colossal process will involve implanting test-tube embryos into the elephants, or into artificial wombs, to grow mammoths that can thrive in cold climates, such as their original Siberian tundra habitat.
Excited about @winklevosscap's investment in @ItIsColossal and its de-extinction mission that will undoubtedly change the course of history and build a better future. @federallamm and @geochurch are solving for the future by bringing back the past. 🚀🦕https://t.co/n9gEuNbGI5
— Cameron Winklevoss (@cameron) September 13, 2021
Church believes that bringing back the ancient creatures could help reverse climate change by restoring plant ecosystems in the Arctic climates where the mammoths would graze, pulling more carbon from the atmosphere in the process.
The firm’s website reads: “May prehistory thunder forward. We have the DNA, the technology and the leading experts in the field. Next, we will have the woolly mammoth alive again.”
“They’re trying to solve an important problem,” Cameron Winklevoss told Fortune. “Not just how to bring back extinct animals, but how to preserve the genetic record of threatened species, of which there is a large number. That could be a game changer.”
The crypto billionaire described his and his twin’s investment in Colossal as a “moonshot” fraught with risk and technical challenges, but added:
“There could be a lot of economic opportunity over time, which might include television or even parks for extinct animals, like Jurassic Park.”