What DAOs are there in the Longevity space?

Posted by:
Jerry Celegans
June 17, 2022

Are you looking for a list of DAOs in the longevity space?  If that's the case, this post will explain it all. We'll go over the top Longevity DAOs, and their approach to the space. As all DAOs need your help, we encourage you to join them all and see how you can help the effort.

Why should you trust me in this post?  First, I'm a big supporter of Longevity, pledging serious funds to the effort both donatively and in investments. This means that I am personally vested in investigating all the broad array of technologies out there to see what works and what doesn't, because my incentives are aligned towards what works. Second, I've been in the crypto space for about a decade, from the original BItcoin, to rooting for Ethereum and *the* original DAO when it came out. I'm a serial entrepreneur and LongevityDAO would be my fourth major success. I say this all not to brag, but to give some credence in my analysis below.

Now before we begin, you likely already generally know what a DAO is and what Longevity is to get to this page. Nonetheless, it sometimes helps go come in with fresh eyes to the definition. A DAO is a "Decentralized Autonomous Organization", and the archetypical DAO was the original Ethereum DAO that let people invest in projects in a totally on-chain, decentralized way. Generally in DAOs, people might own a governance token, and each token might be entitled to a single vote. Generally most questions are put to vote, like what organizations to invest in. However, there could be representative democracy, like the DAO members can elect representatives to serve terms of a number of years.

Longevity too is worth looking at with fresh eyes. The most common question out there is, why doesn't standard cancer research, normal heart attack research, count as longevity?  The reason is because most of this research is reactive -- they look for cures when a serious, fatal, illness has already taken ahold. Since humans at old age are dying of multiple causes at once, eliminating one route, like colon cancer, only extends expected lifespan by say 5-10 years at most. Routes to extend life by 50, 100, and 1000 years require totally new engineer approaches, like preventing aging in the first place, or replacing aged body parts. Longevity specifically targets aging directly, versus the follow on effects of aging.

Why are there even DAOs in longevity? 

The primary reason is that there is a good amount of overlap between cryptocurrencies and longevity enthusiasts. Empirically, you have people like Vitalik Buterin, SBF, and a whole slew of other heavy-hitters in the crypto space that are strong believers of longevity. Theoretically, the overlap makes sense. Crypto was made by optimists who believed that engineering and totally outside the box (compared to traditional banking) approaches would be successful, and they were right. Longevity also requires optimism for the obvious reason: because the challenges are so tough. It's also very outside-the-box, asking why we can't just targetting aging, going beyond the small molecules peddled by Pfizer and friends.

What do DAOs in longevity try to do?

Generally, DAOs have a crypto side, which is usually used for raising money.  For example, the LongevityDAO uses NFTs for fundraising, while VitaDAO raised $6mm using their VITA token. Deathless DAO also uses NFTs for fundraising.

There is also a funds out side. LongevityDAO is helping TomorrowBio raise funds using an NFT. While VitaDAO uses proposals for funding.

As a summary, the most well known DAOs in longevity, in no specific order, are:

  1. The LongevityDAO -- this is the organization I'm the cofounder of.
  2. VitaDAO -- a Germany-based DAO started by Molecule.to
  3. DeathlessDAO
  4. Dog Longevity DAO

[To be continued next time ...]