Rats are no strangers to New York City, and neither are the large, inflatable types used by various unions during strikes to let you know what they think of their members’ employer.
This inflatable rat, however, is a bit different: It is directed at the Federal Reserve with a bitcoin (BTC) message.
The rat, baring its teeth and claws, was put up Tuesday in downtown Manhattan across from the New York Federal Reserve Building. It is white and, according to CoinDesk, “covered in colorful bitcoin code and math equations.” It even says PoW, for proof of work, on its eyes.
Artist and ex-hedge fund manager Nelson Saiers wanted to situate the rat across from the Fed because of the central bank’s control over the dollar. Why a rat? Maybe it’s a riff on multimillionaire bitcoin skeptic Warren Buffett, who famously referred to the cryptocurrency as “probably rat poison squared.”
“The sculpture’s supposed to kind of reflect the spirit of [bitcoin creator] Satoshi [Nakamoto] and what he’s trying to do,” Saiers said, according to CoinDesk. Bitcoin was created as a decentralized currency alternative around the time of the very centralized Fed’s bailout of the U.S. banking system at the start of the 2008 recession.
“They each have their strengths and weaknesses,” he said about the bitcoin creator and the Fed. “Satoshi is obviously very talented. The Fed has lots of talented people as well.”
The rat will be up only for a few more days, the artist told CoinDesk. “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.”