Forget the 401(k), stem cell storage might let you cheat death

By BLOOMBERG

New York • As MyCrypto mulled what benefits to offer employees, the new blockchain start-up asked them what they wanted.

“Surprisingly, we found the traditional health benefits and 401(k) benefits — they had no interest in those,” said Taylor Monahan, the company’s founder and CEO.

If employees didn’t want two of the biggest reasons to be full time, what did they want? “They’re early adopters and they’re tech-minded people, so the concept of living forever turns them on,” said Monahan. “That’s how we figured Forever Labs would be a good fit.”

A stem cell storage company that promises the chance for a longer and healthier life, Forever Labs, asserts that young, healthy cells may someday be used for what CEO Steven

Clausnitzer calls “health maintenance”. These cells, the company claims, could come in handy for treating a variety of maladies, such as heart disease, Parkinsons and Alzheimers — that is, assuming medical technology catches up.

“We are a longevity company helping to extend life spans,” Clausnitzer said. “It’s not so dissimilar to being healthy and active. People have healthy diets and lifestyles. This is one of those things that you could do as well, to be prepared for the inevitable.”

The human body contains many different types of stem cells; Forever Labs stores what are known as the mesenchymal variety.

On behalf of its employees, MyCrypto pays the US$2,500 (RM10,250) fee to gather stem cells via a bone marrow collection procedure (there’s a cheaper US$1,500 procedure if you happen to be getting liposuction).

Additionally, MyCrypto covers the US$250-a-year storage fee — until workers quit or get fired.

“I’m always looking for ways to keep people for longer,” Monahan said. “The turnover rate in crypto is very high.” — Bloomberg