By now, everyone knows that data is huge money, and corporations such as Google and Facebook have milked billions out of your personal information. But Medical and genetic data are worth even much more, and companies may be profiting from it whenever you take a genetic test. The solution in giving people back control over their genetic and DNA data is the blockchain.
According to reports, consumer genetic examination saw an unprecedented public demand last year. Firms, such as AncestryDNA, carried out an estimated 10 million tests on individuals. While they charge for these tests, the real value lies in the genetic and DNA data which can be sold on to third-party medical companies.
There is a growing demand for genome data and research which brings about a conflict between individuals, corporations, and medical facilities. The solution lies in a decentralized blockchain and crypto token that aids the encrypted exchange of medical and genetic data. It is a fledgling industry, luring some startups eager to employ blockchain technology to innovate solutions.
A program called Encrypgen, allows users to upload and securely store genomic data for up to five family members. This information can later be shared with their doctor after permission has been granted. Sequencing providers on the private blockchain can be used, or customers can upload their DNA from third-party providers. Users can get notifications when a third party is interested in purchasing some of their genomic data. The transaction will be facilitated with DNA crypto tokens and recorded on the public ledger.
Different companies are joining this embryonic industry with platforms of their own. Zenome employs the use of nodes on a network of private computers to execute a shared approach to genetic analysis. The data is fragmented and encrypted to deter theft and can be uploaded for no charge initially. Protected storage and a free report about your health and origin will be provided in return. Users can decide whether to sell off any of their own data using the firm’s own crypto token, ZEN.
Luna DNA has a somewhat distinctive approach, enabling users to upload their data for health research purposes in exchange for some Luna Coin. The depersonalized data can be purchased by research academies and pharmaceutical companies. Precise genome testing will only be implemented with the user’s consent.
It is not easy setting a dollar value on the human genome, so only time will tell if these innovative, blockchain approaches to genetic data trading will pay off for individuals.
Would you want to sell your genetic data on the blockchain? Let us know in the comments below.