Lifespan.io President and co-founder Keith Comito was into longevity earlier than longevity was cool.
“We started our nonprofit back in 2014,” Comito mentioned. “Again then, few credible researchers can be caught useless saying they had been engaged on getting older. It was nonetheless form of a scientific backwater. So, we needed to emulate what the most cancers analysis advocates did, beginning within the ‘40s.”
He said those early advocates identified the most credible research at the time and used “old-school” fundraising approaches like telethons to crowdfund for their work. They built a grassroots movement and grew their scientific expertise. Through their efforts, defeating cancer is now an international priority with communities of millions of people crusading in the fight against this devastating disease that is closely linked to aging.
Comito said Lifespan.io is taking a similar approach but for all aging-related diseases. They’ve constructed a big group of individuals by sharing verified information about breaking developments in longevity, crowdfunding analysis utilizing blockchain expertise, and creating a few of “the most successful YouTube collaborations in the space.”
“In 2017, I helped write the scripts for a popular series of aging videos that were the highest-viewed videos the week they came out, with 14 million views within days. That was huge to hit those numbers six years ago, and the like ratio was overwhelmingly positive.” This illustrated to the sphere, Keith mentioned, that it was okay for longevity researchers to return out into the open and never be ashamed of their revolutionary and life-saving work.
Comito leverages numerous abilities honed from a various background, together with laptop programming, biology, and arithmetic. He has invented a number of metaverse-adjacent applied sciences, developed software program that has been adopted in widely-used providers like HBO Now, MLB at Bat and Disney+, and even unintentionally created a top-charting Chuck Norris Joke Generator as a joke again within the early days of cell purposes. In the present day, he’s methods to carry our world into the metaverse that not solely excite us but in addition heal our minds and our bodies as effectively. Keith sees the way forward for Web3 overlapping and supporting the way forward for longevity whereas tying in different scorching sectors like gaming and VR.
Shaking up science
Comito mentioned that one space he’s spent the previous couple of years exploring is the pure fundraising capabilities of cryptocurrency, working with organizations corresponding to Gitcoin and Angel Protocol to brainstorm new fashions of crypto philanthropy to fund scientific breakthroughs. In fact, various “crypto heavyweights are already supporting life extension research,” he says. Vitalik Buterin, for example, has supported several longevity projects, donating crypto to causes just like the SENS Analysis Basis. This connection goes all the best way again to the start of cryptocurrency – by means of the help of early cypherpunks like Hal Finney, says Comito, who theorizes the frequent thread is transcending boundaries, whether or not monetary or organic, to steer humanity to a brighter future.
The potential of blockchain expertise to drive longevity analysis goes far past elevating cash, notably with respect to decentralized science, or “DeSci.” “There are promising potential treatments for Alzheimer’s which lack traditional profit motives, for example, ones that can be developed with blockchain-based crowdsourcing,” he mentioned.
Therapies like flickering lights and sounds at sure frequencies may remediate dementia. Comito himself is engaged on such an strategy together with his colleagues at Lifespan.io – aiming to launch a first-in-kind decentralized scientific trial to check non-drug interventions for Alzheimer’s illness, with the blessing of presidency organizations just like the Nationwide Institute of Well being.
“There have been very public failures on the treatment of Alzheimer’s with traditional approaches,” Comito mentioned. “Over a trillion dollars has been spent on research, with strikingly little progress.”
He mentioned a non-drug resolution found by a decentralized group of individuals on the web can be a “complete earthquake.” Decentralized science, powered by teams like decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs), may also overcome points related to conventional analysis institutes. DAO governance promotes transparency and rewards productivity, facets which might be instrumental in advancing longevity analysis.
“I think we tend to view organizations like the FDA and the NIH as being calcified and anti-crypto,” Comito mentioned. “But my experience has been that leaders of such organizations actually want us to shake things up. With the help of blockchain technology, we can achieve medical advances so powerful and undeniable that existing systems will have no choice but to change.”
Crypto will energy additional innovation within the house
Comito acknowledges that crypto has some perception issues to overcome in the wake of the FTX collapse. Nonetheless, he sees that as extra of a product of the general market. Whereas it’s true that it’s onerous proper now for charities to boost cash, Comito is optimistic that we are going to see a future crammed with exponential development.
“Last year, a number of charities started dipping into crypto because the market was hot,” he mentioned. “They’ve drunk the Kool-Aid, and now’s the time to build and find out who’s truly getting something interesting done. When the market recovers, these projects will be in great shape. We’re building tools to do something amazing in the next several years.”
Organizations like Endaoment and The Giving Block are laying the muse for a philanthropic shift. Within the longevity house, VitaDAO and the Longevity Science Foundation proceed to fund cutting-edge analysis within the quest to assist lengthen our lifespans and enrich our well being. This might additionally seem like crypto and blockchain technology eventually playing a role in streamlining data interactions which could have a task in facilitating longevity.
We’re quick approaching a world the place everybody can personal their knowledge, carrying it of their healthcare pockets. This may also help get rid of bloated trade structure that depends on paper data in a lot of the world. In flip, this may speed up alternatives for individuals to take part in scientific trials, cut back prices, facilitate funds to contributors, restrict emission-heavy journey, obtain variety targets, and result in extra standardized knowledge.
“Concerns have to be managed, but that is something we can do together as a crowd, which we consider a DAO of humanity,” Comito mentioned. “Blockchain technology is not going away, and will have a key part to play in a future where all people will have sovereignty – not only over their currency and data but over their healthy lifespans as well.”