A company has translated the genetic code of Covid-19 into music, and is selling the viral compositions in NFT form for the princely sum of $285.
It’s a news story that would sound utterly alien to anyone pre-2020: A company called Viromusic has come up with a novel way to monetize the coronavirus by creating ambient works of music from its genetic code and selling them as non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
Put simply, the company reads the virus’ genetic code using a DNA sequencer, which returns a long string of the letters G, A, T and C. This string is then broken up into three-letter blocks, each of which is assigned a musical note. Software then looks for a series of these blocks that sound musical, and after Viromusic adds a beat and backing instruments, they become bonafide songs.
Viromusic has created 10,000 songs this way, which it says range “from slow, melodic songs to energetic rock.”
“Every note in the melody is part of the step-by-step instructions the virus uses to make more copies of itself,” its website boasts. These melodies are available to purchase as NFTs for 0.07 Ethereum, equivalent to around $285.
NFTs give the buyer ownership of a digital asset, with this ownership recorded on the blockchain. Others can still view and download this asset, so ownership amounts to little more than bragging rights for the buyer. Twitter’s now-former CEO, Jack Dorsey, for example, auctioned off his first-ever tweet as an NFT earlier this year for more than $2 million, granting the buyer the odd distinction of “owning” a tweet that anyone can view for free.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, Viromusic has only sold one composition since it launched earlier this month – a two-minute ambient piano and strings piece.