Hal Finney Cryonics Research Fund

The Hal Finney Cryonics Research Fund aims to advance the technology behind cryopreservation for future revival. The fund was established in 2018 through a generous donation by Brad Armstrong, a successful cryoptocurrency entrepreneur, Alcor member, and admirer of cryoptocurrency pioneer Hal Finney.

You can read more about Hal’s life and tremendous contributions to humanity below.

The fund is currently focused on research to:

  • Advance the cryopreservation of brain tissue or whole brains, or
  • Advance the clinical practice of cryonics, including patient stabilization, transport, and cryopreservation practices.

Project proposals of all sizes will be considered. For examples of the kinds of projects that will be considered for funding, you can read about past and ongoing Alcor-funded projects here. These should be taken as indicative of topics relevant to Alcor’s mission, but should not be considered exhaustive.

To be considered for funding, please submit a short (1/2 to 1 page) letter of interest to info@alcor.org that includes:

  1. Principal investigator and key research personnel
  2. A brief summary of the project goals, approaches employed
  3. Estimated budgetary needs
  4. Overall significance if the project succeeds
  5. Any other information you deem worth including

Letters of interest are reviewed on a rolling basis by Alcor’s research committee, and if the project is of interest you will be contacted to submit a full application. The length of a full grant application varies according to the size of the request, but it is typically shorter than government research grant proposals (e.g. NIH, NSF, CIHR) of the same scope.

About Hal Finney

Hal and Fran Finney

Hal pictured with Fran Finney, his wife of 35 years.

Hal is a rare genius who never had to trade his emotional intelligence to get his intellectual gifts.” —Phil Zimmermann

The Hal Finney Cryonics Research Fund was named in honor of Hal Finney, an Alcor member, lifelong futurist, and champion of privacy and individual freedoms.

Hal is widely acknowledged as a giant in the field of cryptography. He is one of the first pioneers of cryptocurrency, best known for undertaking the first Bitcoin transaction with Satoshi Nakamoto in 2009. Prior to this, he helped develop the most widely used encryption software in the world as one of the first developers at Pretty Good Privacy (PGP). His software engineering accomplishments were always guided by strong ideals, and he was a noted activist among the cypherpunks.

On August 28, 2014, after battling Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) for 5 years, Hal was cryopreserved at our facility in Scottsdale, Arizona. He and his wife Fran had been members of Alcor for more than 20 years prior. Hal’s cryopreservation was widely covered, including by the New York Times, Medium, and WIRED. You can read more about it on Alcor’s website here.

The fund was established through a $5 million donation by Alcor member and cryptocurrency entrepreneur Brad Armstrong—unprecedented in the history of the cryonics community.

Hal and Fran Finney
Hal, a dedicated runner, was training for a marathon at the time he was diagnosed with ALS. Here he is pictured with his wife Fran in 2009.

Hal and Fran Finney
Hal and Fran at CalTech, Hal’s alma mater.