Q: Who uses the Gene-Chain?
A: EncrypGen’s Gene-Chain was built to serve two types of people: 1) those who have done or want to do genetic tests but want greater control of their data as well as the potential to profit by selling that data to scientists anonymously, and 2) researchers who want to have better access to anonymized data and the ability to pay the people whose data they use directly.
Q: Which genetic tests can the Gene-Chain use?
A: Currently we support all the most popular Direct to Consumer (DTC) genetic tests which have so far been used by over 20 million people worldwide, including 23andMe, Ancestry, My Heritage, Genes for Good, and a half dozen more including those of our partners Codigo46 and Viazoi. If you’ve done such a test, search for how to download your raw data. Each service will inform you how to do so, then you can upload it to the Gene-Chain.
Q: How does the Gene-Chain differ from the DTC testing companies or other genomic blockchain companies that sell tests?
A: We do not do your tests. We only receive the information you choose to upload. We do not have your samples, your bio-materials, and cannot trace back to you any information you withhold. Yet with just an email address you can take control of your own data and market it (or not) to scientists seeking subjects and their data for studies, and seeking to pay them for it. You can delete your data at any time and it will become unavailable both to us and to anyone searching for it.
Q: Why would someone want to use the Gene-Chain?
A: Maybe you have done a DTC genetic test and want to make your data more available for science while doing more to protect your privacy than the testing companies do. Maybe you’d like to earn some $DNA tokens while doing all of this.
Q: What’s a $DNA token and how does it help me?
A: Whenever you sell data on the Gene-Chain you earn tokens equivalent to the price you set for your data in US Dollars. These tokens can be exchanged for Bitcoin or Ethereum, or can be taken off the Gene-Chain and sold on various exchanges. DNA tokens are money, the currency of the Gene-Chain.
Q: What’s up with EncrypGen and why is $DNA so cheap?
A: Best to read this blog post. In sum, token price for now has very little to do with actual business being conducted on the Gene-Chain and will until the volume becomes more substantial. That said, we are working every day to bring new users on board who are buying and selling data, and that is going quite well. Our current capital raise through a Series A equity round is targeted at just that.
Q: Why use tokens instead of cash?
A: We keep our costs lower and your returns for your sales higher and help make it easier to do business internationally. We also think the name for the token, DNA, is pretty cool. Most importantly, if we used cash, then we would compromise the privacy of our users who would then need to enter payment details such as name, address, bank accounts, etc., whereas by using the token we can maintain the privacy of users and still afford a means of anonymous payment. DNA can be sold for other cryptocurrencies and then turned into local fiat currencies around the world.
Q: How can I buy the token if I want to get some so I can buy data on platform?
A: You can very easily purchase tokens directly from us on the Gene-Chain or buy it on various external exchanges (listed on our site). Once you create a profile at http://my.encrypgen.com you can become a buyer or seller. As a data seller you can simply upload your data, fill out a profile, set a price, and wait to see if anyone buys your data using $DNA, which would then show up in your wallet which you automatically get when you create your account at http://my.encrypgen.com. You can also buy the token to use on the platform either by going to an exchange where it is listed or by using BTC or ETH directly in your wallet using the “DEPOSIT” feature in the wallet and choosing the currency of your choice.
Q: Who wants my data and why?
A: Genetics or genomic science are fields still in their very early stages. One day we hope to have a clear picture of how our genetics relates to every aspect of our health and perhaps even characters, but now we need to get a lot more data and search it, as well as data about individuals, to develop the understanding we seek. We will also someday soon be able to use genetic data for better healthcare, such as to tell us our proclivities for certain conditions as well as what drugs we should treat ourselves with. Scientists are spending millions of dollars per year buying data from genetic testing companies.
Q: What’s my data worth?
A: We actually cannot know that until someone makes a fair offer for your data. People buy data that is worth what they think it is worth, and there may be a market for data buyers who are unable or unwilling to pay monopolistic prices charged by genetic testing companies, but who will be willing to pay you directly for your data. Set a price and see who buys, adjust the price over time depending upon the demand for your data. Then we will learn what it is worth.
Q: Don’t I own my own data?
A: No one owns their own data. There is no legal or cultural way we own data. We can own our creations, such as artworks or inventions, but we cannot own data. This means anyone who has your data, absent some regulation concerning privacy, can use it as they wish. But we want you to at least profit from the sale of your data, and allow market principles to help make science more affordable and just.
Q: If I sell my data, can’t others use it or re-sell it?
A: That’s the case now. What we do to help prevent this from being useful is to provide researchers with certain tools that create an ongoing, albeit anonymous, relationship with you. For instance, our custom surveys enable them to follow up with you and eventually pay you for answering questions over time, making it more profitable for those who want data to simply use our platform. Our terms of service also prohibit resale of your data.
Q: Can I just create a profile or must I upload my data?
A: You can just create a profile. If you fill in the profile questionnaire you may have requests from researchers for your data. This is a good way to find out if you should spend the money on a genetic test.
Q: What can I buy with DNA tokens?
A: You can buy data if you are a researcher, test kits from our partners, or you can hold it in your wallet on the platform and let it accumulate until you need it, then cash it out by selling on an exchange if you want.
Q: How much of the sale price is mine when I sell my data?
A: You keep 90% of the price you set. Our 10% commission is the least we can take and keep operating.
Q: Are you ever going to sell my data?
A: No, you sell your data. The minute you don’t want to you can revoke your consent on the site and the data will never leave the platform.
Q: Why use EncrypGen instead of the various other blockchain genomics companies?
A: You can use them all, actually. Posting your data on any of these services ought not to prevent you posting it on all. As long as you retain that right, you should feel free to explore the options and hopefully make money on all of them, as well as enrich the data available for science. Just check their terms and make sure they allow you to control your own data fully.
Q: Is there a fee or subscription when I post my data for sale?
A: No. It is free for you to post and sell your data. There is no subscription price. Data buyers pay the commission on data sales.
Q: Are there more features coming? What’s the roadmap?
A: Soon we expect to implement reward for data sellers who keep their tokens on the platform instead of selling them right away. Beyond that, new features will be targeted at data buyers and make it easier for those who want to help employees buy test kits to do so in bulk, and put their data on the Gene-Chain.