The Methuselah Foundation is one of the formative non-profits focused on achieving progress towards the foreseeable technologies of human rejuvenation. The foundation was the original home of the first SENS research programs before they were spun out into the SENS Research Foundation, and is now focused on an eclectic range of activities that prominently features support for tissue engineering, as well as the formation of an investment fund for longevity industry startups, among other programs.
Vitalik Buterin, who founded the Ethereum blockchain initiative, and has become a high net worth philanthropist as a result, recently made a sizable gift of cryptocurrency to the Methuselah Foundation. Buterin has spoken publicly in support of rejuvenation therapies as an important goal for medical development, and this is the latest and largest in his donations in this space. When I noted this last week, I only mentioned the value of the Ether (ETH) that was donated, somewhere north of $2 million at the time of reporting, and not the very much larger amount of the Dogelon currency (ELON). I also said that I was not going to explain any of the general weirdness that comes along with the cryptocurrency space and events therein. Not my circus! However, if one wants to try to answer the question of how much funding the Methuselah Foundation now has, some explanation will be necessary.
It is easy to create a new cryptocurrency. There are a lot of them. Many of these are created as a joke, an act of Dadaist art, a get rich quick scheme, an altruistic cause, or some combination of all of these. It is also usually quite easy to convert ownership cryptocurrency A into ownership in cryptocurrency B, so all of the economic activity in the big currencies has a way of spilling over into the small ones, even the jokes. To the extent that the existence of Bitcoin and Ethereum is solving someone's large set of problems (such as, cynically, how to export funds from China), there will be traffic and value in currencies like Dogelon, which appears to have been created as, in essence, an altruistic joke, with a little of Dada thrown in by choosing to burn tokens by giving them to Vitalik Buterin rather than a null entity. Buterin is only playing along in the creation of art by giving all of those tokens to charitable causes, and in doing so throwing the system into upheaval.
Dogelon is, however, thinly traded. The present market price of any thinly traded asset is essentially a fiction. Manipulators can move it more or less as they like, one should assume that they already have, and it is otherwise unconnected from the reality of what the price might be for any sizable sale. Price is heavily dependent on what people think that the major holders are likely to do. If the major holder, for example, commits to only sell a little of their holdings over time in a structured and predictable way, then it is back to business as usual. Otherwise, other holders head for the exits and the price heads to zero. That process of immolation did get underway for Dogelon immediately following Vitalik's donation, and it is thus in the interest of the Methuselah Foundation to publicly suggest that this reaction is overblown.
Which is all to say that while the present value of the Methuselah Foundation Dogelon holdings is something like $80 million, if one is to trust the market price, which one shouldn't, in practice the foundation might turn out to have close to zero in value. There is a limited ability to turn any of that fictional thinly traded alleged value into actual funds for research programs without crashing the currency. It does seem plausible that a good, measured, well communicated strategy could extract millions to fund the non-profit over the years ahead, however, and the foundation staff appear to be taking the right steps towards that goal.
Methuselah Foundation now controls 43% of the world's Dogelon Mars ($ELON) cryptocurrency and today announced in a press release that to maximize the $ELON's long-term value, the non-profit will steward the holdings for at least a year. Any future sales would be done to preserve the cryptocurrency's value while advancing the Foundation's mission.
The $ELON was received through a generous donation from Vitalik Buterin, co-founder of Ethereum and a visionary computer programmer. The gift was received on May 12, 2021 and surprised the rapidly growing Dogelon Mars community. It was expected that Buterin would permanently retain his $ELON holdings. The donation raised liquidity concerns for the $ELON, threatening its value and circulation.
"Because our mission to extend the healthy human lifespan requires a long-term view, Methuselah Foundation focuses on lasting achievements, not short-term rewards. We will take the same nurturing approach with our Dogelon Mars holdings because we understand that the cryptocurrency's value depends on maintaining the public's confidence and capturing its imagination, much like baseball cards or other collectibles. We want the $ELON to keep accruing value over the long term."