Long-standing businesses must index everything they do to the changing - almost always falling - value of their regional currency, but very few smaller businesses do this in any sort of a deterministic way. Your average talented and determined fellow willing to start a company knows a lot about the business itself, but generally isn't very knowledgeable regarding currencies, inflation, finance, and so forth. That sort of expertise doesn't emerge in a company as a matter of course until it becomes much larger. So smaller businesses deal with the falling value of money by raising their prices as best they can on an ad hoc basis, but this is ever a challenge for products that involve very long memberships. Trying to raise rates on existing customers is, frankly, one of the hardest things a business can do. But raise rates they must, as modern paper currencies have long been set on a relentless spiral of devaluation.
This happens because politicians and government bureaucrats can use the strategic devaluation of their national fiat currency as a way to generate significantly more revenue for a given level of public upheaval than can be achieved through direct taxation - so of course they tend to do exactly that. This is why inflation exists, and is arguably why fiat currencies continue to enjoy such wide, legally-enforced use. So fiat currencies are somewhat systematically, somewhat opportunistically devalued over time in ways that result in a transfer of wealth from the public at large and into the control of politicians, bureaucrats, and their close supporters.
This is one of a number of processes that make long-term prognostication on future costs a challenge. Others include assumptions on the economies of scale that will emerge with success in development, or success in popularity of a product - successful products invariably become much cheaper as they become more widespread. This happens because competitors figure out more effective means of building the product, and because it is usually cheaper on a per-unit cost to build a hundred widgets rather than ten widgets.
The cryonics industry is presently running into a number of these issues. It offers products that are commonly paid for over decades, or where decades might elapse between the ink drying on a contract and the actual provision of service. The industry is decades old, but never grew to the point at which experience in managing the consequences of currency devaluation and other long-term strategic issues would naturally emerge amongst the major players in a field. At Alcor, this manifests as a growing underfunding issue, and to the credit of the present management they are openly publishing their current thinking on the matter:
The cryonics economies anticipated by Robert Ettinger in 1965 were never realized. By the 1970s, the cost of whole body cryopreservation as offered by TransTime and Soma (the for-profit arm of IABS, which later merged with Alcor) was $60,000. As shown in Fig. 1, the nominal dollar cost of cryonics has risen steadily with Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation since then. By 2011, the minimum funding for whole body cryopreservation with Alcor was $200,000. Even this large number has not kept pace with inflation, so another increase will be necessary soon.
Whenever Alcor has increased cryopreservation minimums, it has traditionally only required new members to meet new minimum funding requirements. Existing members were "grandfathered," and allowed to remain members even if their cryopreservation funding fell below new minimums. This was and is believed to be important for members who due to age or disability become uninsurable, and would otherwise have to leave Alcor after many years of supporting the organization. ... However the main way that Alcor coped with grandfathering was by just taking the loss on what was historically a small number of underfunded cases. There was never a quantitative analysis of the impact of grandfathering, or a specific financial plan for dealing with it. ... The sustainability of this has been questioned on numerous occasions.
You should read the whole thing; it outlines the problem, puts numbers to it to show the size, and presents a range of possible solutions, along with discussion of their merits.
The bottom line is that businesses must act like businesses, even when they have their roots in the non-profit space, research, advocacy, and saving the world, as is the case for most of the ongoing cryonics concerns. There's no such thing as a free lunch, and the cost of providing a service has to be met somehow - if it isn't, then the whole product structure and relationship with the customer has to be rethought. The challenges of managing business agreements across decades have to be addressed by cryonics providers one way or another, such as by continually and clearly indexing against inflation for customers, or by using specialized financial instruments akin to futures contracts, as is the practice in many industries that have to make very long-term commitments and want to shield their customers from the complexity inherent in doing that.
In practice, things are always more complicated and intricate than the sweeping statements I give above, but I think an organization willing to put out a document that talks through their issues in this way is an organization with the right mindset to come to a solution. Openness is a virtue in this modern world, and I think that it is a very beneficial approach to customer relations when those relations have to extend across decades. Many of the most successful companies can be said to have communities as much as they have customers, and I don't see that as being a bad thing for the cryonics industry.