What This Crypto Billionaire’s Big Bet on Longevity Means for You

On Tuesday, I left you with this:

“It’s the next trend that I am the most excited about. I believe that investing in this industry will easily be the best opportunity of our lifetimes…

“An announcement came out over the weekend that further solidifies my opinion, and I believe it will convince you as well.”

I’m talking about longevity — living longer, slowing aging, stopping the aging process, and eventually reversing aging.

A concept image of a line of people at points on a line representing age. The line goes from 60 to 70 with figures at 60, 70 and 80.

Source: Hyejin Kang / Shutterstock.com

For a lot of people, it’s a tough concept to digest.

Living longer can mean great things like watching your kids and grandkids grow up.

But other things are scary to think about… like, how are you going to afford an even longer life?

Before we talk about the announcement from this past weekend, I want you to really think about this idea of longevity, both as an individual and as an investor.

The Promise of Longevity

On an individual level, some people are excited about the idea of a longer life… while others are repulsed.

If you’re in the excited camp, then you’re going to get very excited about this investment trend.

If you’re in the repulsed camp (spoiler alert: It’s already happening), I want you to consider this…

In the year 1900, the average global life expectancy was 32 years, and from what experts understand, that was likely the average lifespan of a human for the previous several thousand years.

Basic medical procedures that we take for granted today — like getting your appendix removed or treating an infection — didn’t exist just a century ago.

Since then, we’ve not only taken quantum leaps in the medical field, but we’ve learned how to treat our bodies better.

That’s why the global average lifespan century is now more than 70 years. People are living twice as long as they were just 100 years ago.

A chart showing the life expectancy for different continents from 1770 to 2019.

And we’ll continue to live longer. (More on that in a future VC Digest issue.)

But this is important…

Our lifespans over the past century have been increasing due to reactive medical care. Most people only seek care when they have an acute health issue that requires immediate care (like needing your appendix removed).

In the near future, we will have a much more proactive approach to medical care. That will include, among other forms of treatment, consuming daily supplements and proactive surgical procedures meant to address future issues… and extend life.

So what’s the investment opportunity?

I’ll start with two questions that you can answer yourself:

  1. Of the 7.9 billion people around the world, how many would spend money to live longer?
  2. Of those people who will spend money to live longer, how much money would they spend?

You probably answered “a lot” to both of those questions.

Considering that the global healthcare industry is already worth trillions of dollars, we can assume that global spending on longevity could increase that figure by many trillions more. (Technically, people are already spending money on longevity — but in the near future, many more life-extending options will be on the market.)

The longevity market is going to be massive. Early-stage investors in this trend will create enormous sums of wealth for themselves.

Now, onto the big announcement…

Coinbase CEO Just Made a Big Bet on Longevity

In a Dec. 11 blog post, Brian Armstrong, CEO and cofounder of Coinbase Global (NASDAQ:COIN), announced what he’s up to next.

He’s building a new company focused on extending the human healthspan.

(Remember, unlike lifespan, which is how long a person lives, healthspan is how long a person maintains high-level physical, emotional, and cognitive abilities.)

Armstrong and his team founded the crypto exchange platform Coinbase in 2012, long before cryptocurrencies became mainstream. He knew that crypto was going to be an enormous trend, so he capitalized on the opportunity — big time.

Fast forward to today, and Armstrong is one of the wealthiest people in the world — worth $13 billion. He can virtually do — or not do — whatever he wants.

Of all the opportunities available in the world, he is choosing to focus on building a company that will extend human healthspan.

Armstrong has teamed up with former Google Ventures partner and Stanford bioengineering Ph.D. Blake Byers to found NewLimit. In that blog post, Armstrong and Byers say:

“We’ve raised $105M initially from the founders to help get the company off the ground, with additional funding available upon reasonable progress. We expect capital will not be the limiting factor for the next few years. We may raise external funding as well down the road.”

If you’ve been paying attention, Armstrong’s big investment in longevity shouldn’t be surprising. Amazon’s (NASDAQ:AMZN) Jeff Bezos, Palantir’s (NYSE:PLTR) Peter Thiel, Google’s (NASDAQ:GOOG, NASDAQ:GOOGL) Larry Page, and Oracle’s (NYSE:ORCL) Larry Ellison all have invested billions of dollars into the longevity project over the past few years.

Bezos recently invested in Altos Labs, a longevity startup out of Silicon Valley. This comes a couple years after Bezos backed Unity Biotechnology (NASDAQ:UBX), another longevity company, which eventually went public for over $800 million.

Unity Biotechnology got its start at the Buck Institute for Research on Aging. A couple of months ago, members of my premium Venture Capital Investor service gained access to a private investment in another longevity-focused biotech now incubating at “The Buck.”

(Venture Capital Investor is where I recommend private deals to a select group of readers. We plan to share more details about how to join VC Investor with the public in early 2022. Stay tuned!)

The longevity trend is already in motion. Billions of dollars are flowing into the space… and the world’s top entrepreneurs are focused on solutions to extending and improving life.

As I mentioned a couple weeks ago, the coming combination of breakthrough technologies like artificial intelligence and quantum computing are likely to massively disrupt healthcare as a whole… and longevity in particular.

It’s difficult to see now… but our world is going to be vastly different in the coming years.

We’ll start to see changes occur at a faster pace than humanity has ever seen… and here at Venture Capital Digest, we’ll be there to invest in the most profitable changes along the way.

On the date of publication, Cody Shirk did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.

By focusing on megatrends that will shape the future, Cody Shirk uncovers generational wealth in the private investing space. To make sure you never miss Venture Capital Digest, click here to subscribe.


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