Opinion Using Bitcoin to Try to Cheat Death

Using Bitcoin to Try to Cheat Death

December 4, 2021

Anyone who wants to live forever also needs a type of value that will fit that particular (and for many biologists, insane) purpose. For many in the same fringe community – but not a community that is without its means – bitcoin and its BTC token fit that purpose perfectly. It is the largest cryptocurrency around and the first fully decentralized, blockchain-based money that ever started working in the online domain. It has a wide range of adopters, which today covers retail investors and goes all the way to nation-states and massive pension funds. It has a strong brand that many are actively trying to rip off for a range of crypto and non-crypto purposes. It is represented in fiat value according to the market movements, but it is still completely independent of any formal connection to any other system of finance, governance, or regulation that are not bitcoin mechanisms themselves. 

This is why, even according to measurements of value that predate the modern world, bitcoin has a lot of things going for it that any money of so-called virtue should have backing it up. But, who would want to use the same cryptocurrency in the eventuality of either endless life or human life that is so prolonged that it basically spans way beyond the current political and social structures? That group of people can be broadly called transhumanists and their plans more and more involve cryptocurrencies and bitcoin in particular. No matter how science-fiction all of that might sound, there are some real-world implications in the same pattern of thoughts and plans behind the transhumanists’ goals and aspirations.

Beyond Human

The transhumanist movement is not some kind of an oddity or a new invention of the Meme age. Instead, it is a way of thinking about biology, sociology, psychology, and technology that goes back decades. In many ways, it was born with the Age of Enlightenment, when the first proto-science fiction authors began dreaming of a world where death and growing old are not the final stages of all life. Instead, with the addition of science and its applications in available technology, these biological restraints could be changed. Also, practical transhumanism is in many ways regular sciences and biology, and medicine. Today, things like pacemakers, epilepsy controllers, and insulin pumps are all means of overcoming the biology of certain illnesses and conditions. 

Yet, transhumanism aims to drive this process even further, allowing anyone to overcome whatever DNA-based issues are holding them back. With it, not only do some limitations stop applying – according to the followers of the movement – the issues like mortality itself become a thing of the past. Here, the individuals who attain these possibilities do not simply become immortal humans, but something that is no longer just human. Instead, it is something new and that comes with its own potentials that are beyond human ones. In an eventuality like that, bitcoin holdings could be the financial basis for an economy and a financial system that is beyond the current one. That in its root is a very crypto-ready concept as well.

Outlasting Systems and Countries

No matter what form the transhumanist agenda looks like – having human consciousness uploaded to a digital plane, biohacking, cloning, freezing – they all envision a way of existing that spans decades and even centuries more than the average natural human life. The same applies to the current life expectancy but also the future ones as well, where we can realistically see the majority of the population reaching the age of 100. Even in those cases, the objective of transhumanism is not to live 200 years, but to overcome any limit whatsoever. In those cases, individuals would exist for hundreds or thousands of years. That means that they would easily overcome most countries in terms of their life expectancy. 

The same applies to the financial systems and currencies as well. For example, if a person somehow managed to go to sleep in 1021 and awkward 1000 years later, nothing they knew back then would be valid now. No country or kingdom would survive, even as a rough successor state. Means of keeping value, besides pure precious metal are also rendered useless. The same thing is what transhumans can expect as well. Kingdom will rise and fall, but their lives will continue. With some bitcoin in their possession, there is a chance that they would keep hold of a very stable (longitudinally speaking) form of value.

Bitcoin Benefits

The benefits of using bitcoin are well known by now. What was once the domain of communities like esports players and cryptography punks is now the stuff of institutional investments with companies like Microstrategy holding billions of USD in BTC. However, the advantages for transhumans become even more pronounced when these are assessed through the lens of time. A holder of one BTC in 2011 and a holder of the same BTC 10 years later would have a drastically different outlook on the same digital currency. 

At the same time, no one can tell where the crypto world will go next and especially where it will go in comparison to the real world. However, it is almost certain that it will not be at the same place where it is now in the next two decades, let alone in the next century. This holds inherent value especially because it opposes the notion that it will follow where fiat and countries go next in terms of a more distant future. Instead, it might mirror these movements in market terms, but it will not mirror their ultimate fate.

Transhumanism and Bitcoiners

Not all who hold bitcoin are interested or even engaged with the notion of changing their biological determinism. At the same time, most definitely not all transhumanists are investors in bitcoin. But, there are lessons in cryptocurrency history that all transhumanists should take to heart – the technology has to be backed up by the cultural and social will of those who use it. This means that their hopes and dreams of an endless life are also tied into the hopes and dreams of wider humanity. Having the tech that runs those dreams is not enough, but holding some crypto still seems like a safe bet, be it a financial hedge or something else.