Back at the start of 2015, California based genomics company 23andMe struck a deal with healthcare and biotechnology behemoth Genentech, owned by Roche Holding Ltd. (SWX: RO), that would see the former sell genetic access to its database of genetic data to the latter for research purposes.
The deal, reported to be worth up to $60 million for 23andMe, saw Genentech pay $10 million upfront for access to data from around 3,000 individuals, each of which had paid 23andMe to conduct a personalized DNA analysis, with the promise of the remaining $50 million over time, as and when certain milestones are hit.
Customers are able to request that their individual data not be shared with any third parties, but the vast majority don’t make this request.
On the face of it, submitting the results of a genetic analysis to a pool that can be used to potentially find new treatments for diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s is a noble and worthy action. Indeed, to opt out of this sort of submission seems selfish, similar in tone to opting out of donating body parts after death.
That’s a valid statement – but there’s another, perhaps more important, question that very few people asking: should 23andMe (and other companies) be the ones drawing financial gain from DNA submitted by individuals?
Surely, the individual should have the option to monetize their own genetic makeup?
And we’re not talking small numbers. Using the figures above, Genentech is valuing each individual’s genetic data in the 23andMe database at more than $3,300 at the upfront rate alone (the $10 million initial payment) and six times that based on the paid-in-full deal size.
One company has recognized this issue and has, over the last twelve months, developed a solution.
The company is called EncrypGen.
EncrypGen has developed what it calls the Gene-Chain, which is a blockchain based platform that allows for the storage, searching, buying and selling of genomic data. Individuals can store their data on Gene-Chain completely free of charge and can then control it how and when they see fit – by sharing access to it with doctors, for example, or (and as is more in line with what we’ve discussed above) by selling access to it to biotechnology companies for research purposes.
This sort of database type storage and manipulation has, in the past, been incredibly risky for an individual. Databases (in their legacy format) are prone to security risks and there’s practically no guarantee that an individual that stores their genetic data on a centralized storage system will be able to keep that data from falling into the hands of malicious operators.
With blockchain technology, however, this has all changed. Individuals that submit their data are de-identified, through cryptography, to ensure anonymity, and only they can gain access to the data that’s stored on Gene-Chain (that is, of course, unless they want to share it, which they can do through the company’s application).
The important thing to recognize here is that this is the next logical step in the rapid rise of genome data harvesting and research applications. This sort of data is incredibly valuable and companies like 23andMe recognized this ahead of the curve, setting out to collect it in large numbers and subsequently repackaging it for resale to interested buyers.
With Gene-Chain, however, EncrypGen gives individuals a way to leverage the value of their own DNA and benefit directly, not just financially but also in terms of potentially improved medical outcomes based on physician access.
Find out more about EncrypGen and Gene-Chain here.
Image courtesy of University of Michigan School for Environment and Sustainability via Flickr
Blockchain technology outshines Bitcoin and Gold during global pandemic
As the popularity of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin begins to level up with investments made in metals such as Gold, together they have both made significant advantages for investors who have taken a leap to invest in them.
However, thanks to the pandemic and the dynamic shift in investing and the economy, many investors have seen fluctuating losses and gains thanks to the uncertainty of the current business world.
Many investors that backed companies who have exposure to blockchain technology have seen an approximate amount of 54% return on investments over the past year. This is even after considering how hard the global tech market and companies have been hit since the beginning of the pandemic.
What is blockchain technology?
Blockchain technology was first introduced as a supportive technology for Bitcoin. A blockchain is a simple, unchangeable and un-hackable digital ledger that holds transactions in little blocks attached to a chain. The transaction is duplicated and distributed across the entire network of systems on the blockchain, making it available for everyone on the network to see.
Each block in the chain contains various transactions which are recorded on the participant ledger every time a transaction takes place. The database is decentralised and is managed by multiple participants known as Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT).
Although blockchain technology was birthed from Bitcoin and was widely adopted for the use of cryptocurrencies, the way it works and its security has made…
Bitcoin Surges After Tesla Bought $1.5 Billion Worth of BTC
The sudden rise of Bitcoin has been connected to the decision taken by the Tesla electric car company to buy $1.5 billion worth of Bitcoin.
The company explained in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that it bought Bitcoin to diversify its cash returns and more flexibility.
Musk’s Tweets also impacted Dogecoin’s price
Tesla also added that it will start accepting Bitcoin payments for all its products, although this will be based on a limited basis and applicable laws. If the company concludes and starts accepting cryptocurrency, it will make it the first major car manufacturer to accept Bitcoin payments. The company’s founder and Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk has developed an interest in Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies.
He has been tweeting severally about the viability of the Dogecoin (DOGE), which doesn’t have an important market value attached to it.
ur welcome pic.twitter.com/e2KF57KLxb
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 4, 2021
Few hours after endorsing Dogecoin, the cryptocurrency rose by an impressive 50%. But regulatory authorities are still concerned about the risks in cryptocurrency investments, with several regulatory bodies warning traders and investors they could lose all their money from crypto investments.
But for Tesla, the company decides to diversify its funds and increased its cash returns. However, Tesla also warned investors about the volatility of Bitcoin’s price in its SEC filing. According to the SEC…
XNO Token of Xeno NFT Hub listed on Bithumb Korea Exchange
Hong Kong, Hong Kong, 25th January, 2021, // ChainWire //
Xeno Holdings Limited (xno.live ), a blockchain solutions company based in Hong Kong, has announced the listing of its ecosystem utility token XNO on the ‘Bithumb Korea’ cryptocurrency exchange on January 21st 2021.
Xeno NFT Hub (market.xno.live ), developed by Xeno Holdings, enables easy minting of digital items into NFTs while also providing a marketplace where anyone can securely trade NFTs.
The Xeno NFT Hub project team includes former members of the technology project Yosemite X based in San Francisco and professionals such as Gabby Dizon who is a games industry expert and NFT space influencer based in Southeast Asia.
NFT(Non-Fungible Token) technology has recently gained huge focus in the blockchain arena and beyond, making waves in the online gaming sector, the art world, and the digital copyrights industry in recent years. The strongest feature of NFTs is that “NFTs are unique digital assets that cannot be replaced or forged”. Unlike fungible tokens such as Bitcoin or Ether, NFTs are not interchangeable for other tokens of the same type but instead each NFT has a unique value and specific information that cannot be replaced. This fact makes NFTs the perfect solution to record and prove ownership of digital and real-world items like works of art, game items, limited-edition collectibles, and more.
NFTs are already being actively traded in markets globally. For…