When a hospital or healthcare facility collects genetic data from a patient, it’s subject to what’s called the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, or HIPAA. Essentially, this severely restricts and limits the way that the healthcare providers that collected the data can use and share it, allowing individuals to retain a degree of privacy.
What many people don’t realize, however, is that with the rise of do-it-yourself DNA testing kits, this privacy is being seriously undermined.
Ancestry sold 1.5 million DNA test kits between Black Friday and Cyber Monday. When people submit their DNA to companies like Ancestry, they are agreeing to various terms and conditions that basically allow the company in question to share the data generated with whatever and whoever they want, and store it in ways that sometimes result in breaches like the one after Christmas that leaked data of 300,00 users ( https://www.komando.com/happening-now/435921/ancestry-com-suffers-big-data-leak-3 00000-user-credentials-exposed ). For these companies, your genomic data is regarded as a company asset, meaning that Ancestry is essentially claiming ownership of the genome of those 1.5 million users of its test kits.
That’s a big problem.
So how is this problem solved?
One company thinks it has the answer – EncrypGen.
EncrypGen is harnessing blockchain technology to return the ownership of genomic data to individuals and to empower you to control who and what gets access to your data no matter who provides your tests.
Blockchain technology is quickly becoming the gold standard ledger and database tool in practically every corner of the global industry. It’s being applied to things like cloud storage, manufacturing, education and more. EncrypGen, however, is the first company to take this technology and use it in genomics.
The company’s lead product is called Gene-Chain and it is intended to mediate the searching, storing, buying and selling of genomic data. For anyone that knows how a blockchain works, the concept will be relatively clear. For those new to this sort of technology, a blockchain is a secure ledger that allows for the recording, time stamping and – critically – encrypting of data of any type.
When data is added to a blockchain, it’s recorded in a block along with other data, which is then encrypted and hashed. The hash means that the data can’t be tampered with or altered once it’s secure on the chain. Nodes on the blockchain constantly verify new blocks and maintain the integrity of the ledger against hacking and tampering.
What EncrypGen has done with Gene-Chain, is take this concept and created a secure database (blockchain) of genetic data. Anybody can store their genetic data on the Gene-Chain securely and, once it’s in the database, can control access to the data they’ve created and stored. They can also be reimbursed for its use through the Gene-Chain’s native cryptocurrency, aptly named DNA.
For example, imagine a woman who has her genetic information stored on Gene-Chain wants to allow a physician to see the data and use it to diagnose a condition or as the basis of a treatment. All she has to do is use the EnrypGen application (which can be accessed on pretty much any internet connected device) to grant the physician access to the data she has stored.
Now imagine the same woman wants to sell her genetic data to a research laboratory that wants to aggregate it with the data of other individuals to inform the design of a new drug. She grants access to the laboratory and the latter pays her for the privilege. And the best part? Her data is anonymised so it cannot be traced back to her!
Never before have people been able to take control of and monetize their own genetic data in this way. In this regard, Gene-Chain really is a first-of-its-kind application of blockchain technology to genomic science.
And the exciting thing is that this technology is real and it’s here now. The company was founded back in December 2016, funded back in July in part by way of a very successful token sale and started co-selling DNA test kits ( with Codigo46) in December 2017. In Jan 2018, the MyGene-Chain customer portal opened for genetic data uploading.
And what’s next?
EncrypGen is set to launch Gene-Chain Lite in Spring 2018. This is essentially a pared-down iteration of its primary technology. The full version, Gene-Chain V1 for heavy users, will go live in April.
The bottom line is this: in a world where genetic data is being increasingly collected, shared and used by a whole host of different parties, individuals need a way to retain control of their own information.
EncrypGen, through Gene-Chain, is the first and only technology that allows them to do exactly that.
For more information, check out the company’s website.
Disclaimer: This article should not be taken as, and is not intended to provide, investment advice. Please conduct your own thorough research before investing in any cryptocurrency.
Image courtesy of Caroline Davis2010 via Flickr
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…
Wisebitcoin Launches Professional-Grade Crypto Exchange
Infrastructure is developing rapidly in the cryptocurrency industry, but the recent launch of the Wisebitcoin cryptocurrency exchange is nonetheless significant in terms of the immediate value it provides to cryptocurrency users. That’s because the exchange has had a beta version available since 2018 while continuing further developments in stealth mode, and already serves over 1.2 million end users with $6+ billion in 24 hour trading volume at the time of its official launch.
In addition to the large user base and deep liquidity, Wisebitcoin also stands out by offering up to 100x leverage to margin traders, with the ability to open a long or short position in their futures market. In the current bullish environment, leverage is a key way that experienced traders increase their exposure and try to profit from volatility.
For example, if a user opened a long position on ETH on January 2nd at a price of $750, they could have greatly multiplied their profits with even a small amount of leverage such as 5x as ETH reached over $1,100 within 48 hours. A simple unleveraged position would have netted $350 in profit, but a 5x position would have netted $1,750 and a 100x leveraged position would have netted an incredible $35,000 in profits from an initial investment of just $750.
Beyond leverage, Wisebitcoin additionally offers a simple and…