Ex-hedge fund manager and artist Nelson Saiers, nicknamed the Warhol of Wall Street, has placed a giant inflatable rat in front of the Federal Reserve branch located on Wall Street in New York City. The giant rat is expected to be in front of the Federal Reserve for a few days before being taken down.
The Federal Reserve is the most powerful bank in the world; it controls the world’s dominant fiat currency, the USD, and had assets approaching USD 5 trillion as of 2017. The interpretation of this rat remains up to each individual person but in general, it is supposed to represent the competitiveness between the fiat system and cryptocurrency, and was designed to make people think critically about Bitcoin.
The pupils of the rat spell PoW, which stands for Bitcoin’s Proof-of-Work algorithm, which is how miners solve hashes and group transactions into blocks to secure the Bitcoin network. The rat is covered with colorful code and mathematical equations, showing how Bitcoin is a currency that exists entirely within computers and the internet and has set parameters, in stark contrast to fiat currency which is controlled by humans at the Federal Reserve and other central banks who can change parameters at will.
Saiers specifically placed the giant inflatable rat on Maiden Lane, which is named after the organization that bailed out AIG and Bear Sterns during the 2008 financial crisis. The bailouts of the 2008 financial crisis amounted to trillions of dollars, representing a transfer of money from average Americans to the rich establishment, the same rich establishment that caused the 2008 financial crisis in the first place via their immoral investment practices. The 2008 financial crisis caused massive inflation of the US dollar due to all the money printing that the bailouts required. The 2008 financial crisis is thought by some to be the impetus for the launch of Bitcoin in 2009.
The rat has specific symbolism in the crypto world since Warren Buffet famously labeled Bitcoin as “rat poison squared”. Warren Buffet and numerous other financial leaders have trashed Bitcoin with colorful labels in the past.
Saiers says, “The sculpture’s supposed to kind of reflect the spirit of Satoshi and what he’s trying to do. It’s art, so I hope they’re entertained by it. It’s informative, I hope people will learn [and] I’m hoping it’ll at least help people understand bitcoin better and be kind of faithful to what Satoshi would have wanted… People have been mocking Bitcoin, but now it’s a USD 100 billion entity. It’s been scorned, but will it play a role in dampening the importance of central banks and fiat currencies?”.
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Image Courtesy: Pixabay