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EncrypGen Is Giving People Back Control Of Their Genetic Data

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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

Stepping off the rollercoaster: Why I’ve fallen out of love with Bitcoin

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The very word Bitcoin has almost become synonymous with that of cryptocurrency. It’s basically just a medium of conducting digital transactions – it’s a virtual currency and one of many. So how has it taken on a definition of its own and asserted itself as a leader in the digital financial ecosystem?

Bitcoin has been crowned king of altcoins, probably because it was one of the earliest and most successful of its kind. The trendsetter has ushered in a wave of cryptocurrencies built on decentralised P2P networks and has inspired a growing number of followers and spinoffs. But is Bitcoin struggling to keep up with the newcomers who have made considerable developments to the stability, security, and usability of the crypto world?

The supporting case for Bitcoin has been a clear one. Its pioneering infrastructure has situated it in a position of dominance in the altcoin realm. Bitcoin has a proven usage case as a store of value. Having existed over 8 years without failure, it has a large lead over most altcoins and has withstood the test of time as younger counterparts join the market. However, it seems to be on a downward slope, or at the very least, not progressing at the speed of the market.

In May this…

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Altcoins

Cryptocurrency Collateralized Debt Positions Are Growing in Popularity

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While Bitcoin (BTC) continues to hover around the magical 10,000 price level, altcoins continue to fight an uphill battle.  Simply put, hopes of a future bull run continue to diminish as Bitcoin maintains its dominance.  One school of thought is that a few altcoins will survive and flourish, but which ones are anyone’s guess.  That being said, it’s hard to go wrong picking against the top coins like Ethereum (ETH), Ripple (XRP), Litecoin (LTC), and EOS.  These projects have managed to find a foothold in the market and have a better chance than most of staying there.  While traders wait for their positions to increase in value, one opportunity that may be worth looking at is initiating a collateralized debt position.

What is a Cryptocurrency CDP?

In traditional terms, a CDP is essentially putting up collateral in order to receive a loan against the deposited amount.  There are several examples of this in our day to day lives.  Auto title loans from large companies like TitleMax are extremely popular with consumers.  Consumers are essentially able to use their car as collateral in exchange for a cash payment which can then be used for whatever needs the consumer has.  The consumer can continue using their car as long as debt payments are made.

The same concept applies to cryptocurrency CDPs.  Consumers are able to put up crypto tokens, such as…

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Altcoins

Hodium Presents a Compelling Opportunity for Outsized Investment Returns

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I’m sure all of us remember the cryptocurrency glory days of 2017 and early 2018.  It was one of the biggest bull runs in history and created incredibly wealth for quite a few early entrants.  Unfortunately, for most of us, those gains have most likely been wiped out during the altcoin apocalypse.  The truth is that traders probably thought a bit too highly of their trading abilities when the reality was that anyone could have thrown a dart at a board and ended up making money.

As markets mature (and the crypto market is definitely maturing) it becomes more and more difficult to generate alpha.  In that regard, it’s similar to traditional financial markets.  I can remember trading during my high school days.  It was the late 90s and right in the middle of the dot.com boom.  Eventually, however, the euphoria fades away and reality hits hard.  Now, it’s become rather difficult to actually trade profitably which has given way to the rise of hedge funds.

Hedge funds are investment funds that pool capital from accredited and/or institutional investors and invest in a variety of assets, often with extremely complex portfolio-construction and risk management techniques.  The professionals employed by hedge funds are the best of the best and have spent years honing their craft.  That is why they’re able to make the millions of dollars that they normally…

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