Today's good news is that the Alcor Life Extension Foundation, one of the two oldest US cryonics providers, has received a $5 million donation. Like a number of recent donations in our broader community, this originates from an individual who has done well in the growth of cryptocurrencies. I think that this philanthropy is a sign of things to come; these newly wealthy individuals are, on balance, younger and less set in their ways than those who come to wealth via the slower and more traditional means. They will be, accordingly, more adventurous, more disruptive, more supportive of causes that have a high utility but are not yet mainstream. This is all to the good, I feel.
This donation is an enormous sum for the non-profit cryonics community - it is a significant fraction of the existing Alcor assets, near all of which are locked up to support the long-term commitments of providing for its members. Cryonics is just as important to the cause of minimizing human death as the forms of medical biotechnology more usually featured here at Fight Aging! Sadly, it is also far worse off when it comes to the available resources, particular in the very necessary endeavor of research and development, to improve the state of the art, and produce a viable, self-sustaining industry based on reversible low-temperature storage of tissues. I would like to see this state of affairs change for the better, and this donation is a sizable first step on that road.
I am delighted to announce that Alcor has received a stunning $5,000,000 contribution to fund cryonics research. Alcor member Brad Armstrong (A-3000), came to visit Alcor in November 2016. After a tour and long and fascinating chat, before he left I suggested that he finally sit down and sign the membership paperwork. We would provide the witnesses and the Notary Public. 90 minutes later, Brad was done and handed us a check, making him a member. (See? It's not as difficult as you think.)
Fast forward to April 2018. Brad's assistant called to say that Brad wanted to make a major contribution to Alcor for the purposes of cryonics research. When I called Brad, I was immediately reminded that he is a down-to-earth, easygoing fellow who wants cryonics to work and is eager to fund what he knows matters. Brad is an enthusiast of cryptocurrencies and an admirer of Hal Finney - the first recipient and early developer of Bitcoin - and an Alcor member cryopreserved in August 2014. The $5 million research contribution is being held in the name of the "Hal Finney Cryonics Research Fund".
On behalf of Alcor and the cryonics effort in general, I want to say thank you. But how can I possibly express those thanks adequately? With a gift of this magnitude comes the responsibility of managing and spending it wisely for maximum impact. Until the Alcor board and Research Group determine how best to hold and use this funding, I have moved it from Alcor's bank account into a money market fund. Stay tuned as we determine how to use this remarkable influx of funding to boost Alcor's cryonics research.