Bitcoin historians will recollect that the early cryptocurrency pioneer Hal Finney was a person who believed in life extension and chose to be frozen in cryopreservation. Now a recent report shows that a good number of well-known blockchain advocates are also convinced that an ‘extropian-like’ technology may extend the lives of humans in the future.
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Cryptocurrency Supporters and the ‘Ultimate Goal’
Cryptocurrency enthusiasts and believers in life extension go hand in hand these days, according to a report by Breaker columnist Julia Herbst. The chief science officer of SENS (Strategies for Engineered Negligible Senescence), Aubrey de Grey, talked with Herbst about the relationship between an extropian philosophy and blockchain technology proponents. Extropians are futurists who believe in the philosophy of life extension through improving technology. News.Bitcoin.com recently reported on how Hal Finney, the man who received the very first Bitcoin transaction, was a devout extropian. The British biogerontologist de Grey explained in his interview that many other blockchain luminaries have donated to SENS research, which studies and develops regenerative medical therapies.
In the early 2000s, Michael Novogratz donated to the organization and the Pineapple Fund gave SENS $2 million in BTC last year. Moreover, the inventor of the Ethereum network, Vitalik Buterin, donated $2.4 million to SENS. The regenerative medical therapies organization raised another $4.1 million in cryptocurrencies this year in addition to the Pineapple Fund donation. “I’m not in this to do science for the sake of doing science,” de Grey detailed in his interview with Herbs. “I’m in it for the ultimate goal,” the SENS founder adds. The biogerontologist further revealed that a few anonymous donors have given SENS $1 million per individual and other cryptocurrency personalities are also long-term donors.
World-renowned cryptographer Ralph Merkle at the Singularity Summit 2007.
According to the report, a few anonymous members of the digital currency industry have also donated to the Alcor Life Extension Foundation and its cryonics research. On Aug. 28, 2014, Hal Finney’s body was taken to Alcor and he was the company’s 128th patient. Hal paid for his cryogenic process “through a combination of life insurance and Bitcoins donated by admirers,” explained Alcor at the time. In another instance of the strong relationship between crypto-advocates and the philosophy of life extension, the entrepreneur Brad Armstrong donated $5 million in cryptocurrencies this year to Alcor Research and dedicated the gift to Hal Finney’s memory.
Furthermore, the inventor of cryptographic hashing, Ralph Merkle, is also a big life extension and cryogenics believer. Merkle’s Wikipedia page calls him a “researcher and speaker of cryonics.” Herbst detailed that Merkle has known a few crypto-advocates who have donated to cryonics and explained he has also helped raise funds for Alcor. Another member of the Alcor Foundation is the cryptocurrency magnate Robin Hanson, who believes future generations will be able to unfreeze him after the cryogenic process. In fact, Hanson thinks it will be very easy in the future and stated; “[Future generations] won’t have to try really hard — If they have to try really hard, they probably won’t.”
What do you think about blockchain enthusiasts and their relationship with the philosophy of life extension? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.
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