Genecoin samples your DNA, turns it into data, and stores it in the world’s most powerful supercomputer: the Bitcoin network. The company is still in its very early stages, and at this moment they are evaluating public interest in their service proposal. If you find the idea to store your genome in the blockchain intriguing, you can participate in the poll on the Genecoin website and tweet:
Yes! I want to upload my genetic material into the Bitcoin supercomputer!
How does it work? The first step is genome sequencing, which is outsourced to biotech companies that specialize in DNA, to turn your DNA into data. You’ll receive an easy-to-use sampling kit in the mail, and send the samples back to Genecoin. Next, the Genecoin team will upload your genome data into the Bitcoin network.
Bitcoin can be used to permanently store information on thousands of computers around the world. Every computer that mines for Bitcoins stores the blockchain, which makes it an extremely robust way to backup data. Genecoin claims to have a number of strategies for encoding your genome data as Bitcoin transactions.
A human genome can contain up to 3gb of data if encoded inefficiently. With 2 bits per base, a full genome can be encoded to ~750mb. Most users will only need to store the data that makes them unique from other humans & lifeforms, which brings the file size down drastically.
Genecoin is not committed to one or another Bitcoin technology. Rather, their aim is to turn Genecoin into a Decentralized Autonomous Organization that preserves your genetic material indefinitely. They think that using decentralized programming languages like Ethereum, and other strategies, users will be able to setup advanced algorithmic contracts that initiate transfer and decryption of their genome at a time or condition of their choosing.
It’s evident that a human genome can be stored in the blockchain. The question is, why should you want it? A possible answer, appealing to radical futurists, is that future generations may be able to clone you back from your genome data, and bring you back to life. Bitcoin Magazine suggests that one easy reason to use the blockchain to store DNA would be as a replacement for a traditional Birth Certificate. That would be a high tech, futuristic version of the Blockchain crypto-passport.
The Genecoin proposal to store your genome in the blockchain may seem far-out and outlandish, but worth watching. What do you think? Comment below!
Images from Genecoin and Shutterstock.