A new startup, EncrypGen, wants to help people to sell their genetic code, in return for cryptcurrency, and, astonishingly, crypto fans have already given it $3million. This means that if the start up is successful, you will soon be able to effectively upload your genetic code to the blockchain, before selling it for cryptocurrency.
EncrypGen has compared their company to being the Amazon of genetic material, and it will allow users to put their DNA online, before selling it to researchers and companies, in return for their own cryptocurrency. The platform, which is set to launch just next week, will give users a login key that they can then share with their doctors. The founder says;
“If you choose, and you don’t have to, you can also make it available for searching by scientists.”
Despite having to answer some questions regarding their background and health, any buyers will not know anything about the person. It has been claimed that users could make up to $3,000. $DNA tokens, EncrypGen’s own cryptocurrency is currently equivalent to approximately $0.70. the founder believes that this virtual currency is necessary, saying;
“One of the challenges to having what we think is an international internet of genomics is establishing an easy mechanism for not only privately and safely exchanging the data, but paying for it without having to worry about fluctuating costs of local fiat currencies.”
Some experts are not sold on EncrypGen. Sandra Park, who is a senior attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union, said;
“I think there are a lot of privacy concerns that come up for patients when they contribute their data. The context people are most familiar with are the contributions to research studies…[commercial sale is] uncharted waters, in terms of how patients navigate that…There have been studies that have shown the de-identification process tends to make people think they’re de-identified when they’re not, or you can easily be re-identified using publicly available information.”
EncrypGen assures that even anonymous genetic information can be traced back to its donor, saying;
“Even de-identified public data is risky for the donors, as recently revealed by studies using data from the Personal Genome Project, in which 40% of the data was re-identified.”
This poses concern when you think about the threat of hacks, but again, they assure the user that their system cannot be hacked. Only time will tell as to whether this will take off, but it seems like an extreme measure to go to get your hands on some cryptocurrency.
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