Decentralized cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin generate interest from people worldwide, as they provide value to those looking for a viable alternative to the dollar, euro, and other government-backed currencies. Due to its unique, non-restrictive wealth-building potential, crypto has also become associated with some surprising tangent areas of science and technology.
For example, crypto enthusiasts have shown interest in cryonics, the preservation of human remains at very low temperatures, with the hope that these individuals may one day be capable of being revived. Understanding why, however, requires answering some of the biggest questions surrounding this burgeoning field of study.
Cryonics: The Cool Side of Preservation
Cryonics is a practice used to preserve humans and animals at extremely cold temperatures. This is done with the hope that as science advances, humans and animals that were frozen can be restored to a healthy state.
The scientific justification behind cryonics is based on four ideas:
- Low temperatures slow down metabolism and stop chemical changes.
- Ice is unlikely to form or can be eliminated in vitrification mixtures; these mixtures can cool human remains at ultra-fast speeds.
- A person who is “legally dead” is not necessarily “irreversibly dead.”
- Damage that occurs due to low-temperature preservation and clinical death may not be reversible today but may be reversible in the future.
In 1967, cancer patient James Bedford was the first person to be cryogenically frozen. Bedford was frozen in a capsule designed by American cryogenics pioneer Edward Hope, and remains cryogenically frozen to this day.
Over the years, scientists have explored many options for cryogenic freezing. These have included vitrification to minimize the risk of ice forming around cells. At one point, scientist Gregory Fahey used a combination of antifreeze and other chemicals to cryogenically freeze a rabbit kidney. When the kidney was later thawed and put back into its donor, it functioned normally. In 2015, scientists with the Alcor company found that microscopic worms could be cryogenically frozen and thawed. These worms also showed the ability to survive and recall associations they had made before they were thawed.
While promising, cryonics remains a work in progress. Low temperatures have been shown to slow biological processes, but questions remain about whether cryopreservation is reversible.
What Resurrection Technologies Are Currently Available?
Along with cryonics, other resurrection technologies have been studied in detail. These include digital immortality and restoration from a digital backup.
Digital immortality is based on the idea that a person can be preserved in a digital format. This individual can live in a virtual environment with other digitally preserved people. As a result, digital immortality could potentially one day allow digital versions of ourselves to live on indefinitely.
The concept of restoring a person from a digital backup is centered around the use of nanotechnology to develop neural implants or genetically modified neurons. This would allow scientists to create nanobots that could eventually replace neurons in the brain or connect to the brain and learn from it. The nanobots could survive after a person dies. This would allow data from a person’s brain to be transferred to an outside computer via nanobots.
Along with such technologies, a technique called plastination is evaluated in conjunction with cryonics. Plastination involves a four-step process to preserve a body or body parts. Some scientists claim plastination offers an increased likelihood of preservation over cryonics. They also point out plastination does not require organizational continuity.
Why Are Crypto Enthusiasts Interested in Cryonics?
Cryptocurrency enthusiasts believe crypto will hold its value or increase in value in the years to come. In addition, they understand many U.S. seniors are struggling financially due to rising costs of living. By holding crypto, these individuals have nothing to lose. This is due to the fact that they can use cryonics to be resurrected. At this time, they can use their crypto to keep pace with rising living costs.
Meanwhile, crypto enthusiasts have been drawn to technologies that make resurrection more probable than ever before. For example, IoT and cold chain technology can monitor the status and performance of cryonics being stored or transported. The technology could prove important for ensuring that cryogenically frozen people are still “healthy” enough to be resurrected.
Crypto enthusiasts have shown interest in investing in blockchain and other technologies that can also deliver large returns. They can use crypto to invest in these technologies now. By using cryogenics, crypto enthusiasts can be resurrected at a time when their technology investments provide maximum ROI.
Should Crypto Enthusiasts Use or Invest in Cryonics?
The business of cryopreservation gained momentum during the COVID-19 pandemic. It shows no signs of slowing down any time soon, either. Therefore, crypto enthusiasts may find many opportunities to use or invest in cryonics in the foreseeable future and must plan accordingly.
Before using or investing in cryonics, crypto enthusiasts should learn as much as possible about it. There are many myths that persist about cryonics. Cryo enthusiasts can determine if it aligns with their core values and beliefs by learning about cryonics and its science and technologies.
Scientists have made major breakthroughs in cryonics. Yet, additional research is required to understand the short- and long-term ramifications of cryogenic freezing. As more research is completed, crypto enthusiasts can review it. From here, they can get additional insights to determine if cryonics is right for them to use, personally, or as an investment opportunity.
Also, crypto enthusiasts should consider cryonics in relation to other resurrection technologies. Crypto enthusiasts can find out how these technologies work and weigh the pros and cons of using or investing in them. When they do, they can decide if now is the right time to commit time, energy, and resources to these technologies.
Getting Started With Cryonics and Resurrection Tech
Crypto enthusiasts interested in getting more involved with cryonics and resurrection technologies can review the current scientific research on these burgeoning fields. Another helpful thing to keep an eye out for are companies and industry experts who support these technologies.
Lastly, it is important to establish realistic expectations for any potentially promising resurrection technologies. Scientists are working hard to find ways to resurrect a woolly mammoth and utilize cryonics and similar resurrection technologies. Their efforts may result in scientific advancements that could ultimately change how people look at resurrection technologies moving forward.
Adrian Johansen is a freelance writer whose work focuses on business, tech and marketing. She is especially passionate about issues related to accessibility and sustainability. You can read more of her work at her website.