by Robert DeVoe
Vitalik Buterin, famed co-creator of the increasingly popular Ethereum cryptocurrency platform has donated $2.4 million to the SENS Foundation. The foundation is responsible for the research of methods and techniques to help cure the diseases of aging. The organization is led by charismatic bearded leader Aubrey de Grey, who has made speeches and given lectures at numerous high-profile events such as TED, Google, and many others.
Vitalik: Fan of Aubrey de Grey
Speaking of the reasons for the donation, Vitalik Buterin said:
“I’ve been a fan of Aubrey’s work since I first read Ending Aging when I was a teenager, and I am happy to have been blessed with the opportunity to personally support SENS’ efforts.”
Buterin notes that he feels the stated mission and goals of the SENS Foundation are deeply in line with his own goals of “positively [impacting] the lives of millions of people around the world.”
The goal of the SENS Foundation is not to accomplish something that is impossible, which is absolute immortality. Instead, the foundation aims to develop a series of treatments that could undo, reverse, and prevent the damage caused by the aging process.
On several occasions, Aubrey de Grey has referred to what calls “escape velocity.” The idea of escape velocity is that as long as your body can survive and be healthy up to the point that these treatments are completed, then you could effectively live forever (at least, not die due to aging).
This concept is also tied into the name of the Foundation, SENS, which stands for Strategies for Engineered Negligible Senescence. Senescence, meaning the process of aging.
Two Major Cryptocurrency Donors in 12 Months
The announcement of Vitalik Buterin’s donation comes just a few short months after The Pineapple Fund donated $1 million worth of bitcoin to the SENS Foundation last December. The Pineapple Fund is a privately owned nonprofit group that donates to worthy causes in bitcoin.
In 2017, The Pineapple Fund’s anonymous operator asked people on Reddit where they thought the money should go. One contributor suggested the SENS Foundation, and just days later, the SENS Foundation had $1 million in bitcoin.
Grey had just one word for the donor:
— Aubrey de Grey (@aubreydegrey) December 15, 2017
Adding Vitalik Buterin’s donation leads to a full $3.4 million purely from well-known cryptocurrency sources.
Life Extension Treatments on the Horizon
In a recent interview during a Reddit AMA session, de Grey noted that he believes someone who is currently in their thirties has about a 50 percent chance of achieving escape velocity and standing a chance to become immune to aging. Reaching such an ambitious objective naturally hinges on the steady income stream with which it can invest in its research.
The first step in achieving this is to accomplish what the organization refers to as RMR which stands for Robust Mouse Rejuvenation. Essentially, this refers to successfully reversing or undoing the aging in mice as a proof of concept.
Grey estimates that this will be completed in five to seven years given ideal funding conditions, or about ten years if funding falls short.