Venture capital investor Mark Carnegie and his business partner Sergei Sergienko have named a newly discovered long-legged fly from Papua New Guinea “bitcoin”, after winning the naming rights from the Australian Museum.
The fly was confirmed as a new species by Australian Museum entomologist Dr Dan Bickel, who used the museum’s collection of more than 150,000 fly specimens from 14 countries in the Oceania region to verify its distinctiveness.
Mr Carnegie and Mr Sergienko called the fly Chrysosoma bitcoin after bidding for the naming rights at the Australian Museum Foundation Gala Dinner in 2021.
The two investors paid for the rights in cryptocurrency, a first for the museum, and Mr Carnegie said he had bought three times the amount of carbon credits needed to offset the crypto donation through Australian, Melanesian and on-chain projects.
“I acknowledge bitcoin mining has negative environmental consequences and want to make sure no one in a crypto project with me is not clearly buying multiple offsets,” Mr Carnegie said.
Both Mr Carnegie and Mr Sergienko said cultural institutions have great opportunities to enhance IP preservation, democratise knowledge and explore new fundraising methods.
“We have the capability to reposition cultural institutions at the forefront of the digital revolution, and are dedicated to ensuring Australia doesn’t get left behind through the ongoing disruption,” Mr Carnegie said.
The new fly is a member of the family Dolichopodidae, which represents long-legged flies and has patterned brown wings and long hairs on their front legs.
Dr Bickel, who released a research paper on the fly this week, said flies are often underappreciated.