Zenome is a marketplace for your genetic data, built on blockchain technology. Find out how it works today in our review.
What Is Zenome?
Zenome describes itself as a “blockchain-based genomic ecosystem.” The Zenome Project aims to create a decentralized database of genomic information. Users can use the blockchain to manage and protect their genetic data while selectively sharing it with certain parties.
The genome, by the way, is the complete set of genetic instructions found in a cell. It contains biological information necessary for the development and functioning of any organism. Today, companies can sequence your genome to reveal detailed genetic data about yourself.
As the Zenome whitepaper explains, a number of companies have an interest in safeguarding your genetic data:
“The principal customers of genetic information are companies interested in genetic targeting such as Google, Facebook, Unilever and pharmaceutical companies.”
With Zenome, people like you can share genetic data with these companies in exchange for compensation. If companies are making money off of your genetic data, then it’s only fair that you receive compensation for sharing that data.
What Problems Does Zenome Seek to Solve?
Today, most genomic data is stored in centralized databases. Those databases are controlled, secured, and financed by governments or large corporations.
Individually, each of those databases contains insufficient data to make a quantum leap forward in genomics and precision medicine. At the same time, each database contains so much information that it’s impossible for a single company to process everything.
With that in mind, Zenome aims to solve problems like:
- The fragmentation of genetic data
- Limited access of scientists, medics, and companies to genetic data
- Low affordability of genetic testing
- A lack of privacy for those who agreed to open access sharing of their genomic data
- Insufficient computing resources
Features And Benefits Of Zenome
Zenome is being built with the following goals in mind:
- Creating an infrastructure for storing big genomic data using a distributed database
- Open access to millions of human genomes worldwide with privacy protection
- The possibility for each person to participate in scientific and clinical research, and to make a profit from this activity
- Stimulating the enhancement of genomic sciences in developing countries and de-monopolizing genomic data in developed countries
With Zenome, users can upload their genetic data while still retaining control of it. They can securely store their own genetic information, make a profit by selling access to their genetic data, undergo genetic testing in exchange to the right to use genetic information, and make use of other genetic services.
In practical terms, someone could store their genetic data in the Zenome blockchain. Then, they could securely share that data with, say, a supplement company. That supplement company could analyze the patient’s data, then create a supplement or supplement regimen based on that information.
How Does Zenome Work?
Zenome’s platform stores different types of information about a person, including their genomic, personal, and financial data. This data is “inextricably intertwined”, explains the Zenome whitepaper. However, the data is stored in different ways:
- Financial data, which includes records of any transactions made through the platform, is stored on the blockchain
- Genomic data, which is anonymized before storage, is stored on the distributed network
- Personal data is kept on the individual’s own computer and nowhere else
Although this data is inextricably intertwined, it’s stored in different locations. This is designed with privacy and scalability in mind.
All transactions on the platform – like buying and selling data – are governed by smart contracts. Transactions take place through the exchange of Zenome DNA tokens, or ZNA, which are the utility tokens for the platform.
Zenome chose to implement its own digital token because “using any of pre-existing tokens for this purpose would result in unreasonable dependence on the valuation of external token or coin.”
The Zenome platform and project is designed with the following features in mind:
Individual Ownership of Personal Genomic Information: All participants have the right to hold their own personal genomic data and share that data with whomever they wish.
Freedom of Choice: Each participant decides how individual genetic information should be used. The participant can decide whether or not to participate in scientific or clinical research.
The Right to Share: The participant may grant access to genetic information to a third party in a way that restricts data copying. That third party could have access to the data for a brief period of time – say, for a research project or study.
Privacy: Private data encryption, and anonymized genomic data storage, makes it impossible to access individual genetic information without the explicit permission of the user.
Distributed Data Storage: Distributed database architecture provides high availability and fault tolerance through replication and scale out ability.
Distributed Data Processing: Data is processed on many network nodes at the same time. That means any user can become an ode by providing disk space and CPU time to the network.
Scalability: The platform architecture enables great scalability and flexibility of the system.
Who’s Behind Zenome?
Zenome is led by Alexey Gorbachev (Founder) and Nikolay Kulemin (Founder). Gorbachev is a molecular biologist and blockchain enthusiast with a Ph.D. in molecular biology and biochemistry from Moscow State University.
Kulemin, on the other hand, has a Ph.D. in bioinformatics from the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology. He’s a specialist in bioinformatics and mathematical biology with experience in academic research and applied developments in the genome industry. He also founded a company developing new algorithms for genomic analysis.
Other key members of the team include Vladimir Naumov (Genomic Data Scientist), Sergey Popov (Developer), and Dmitry Kwon (Advisor).
The Zenome Token Sale
Zenome DNA tokens, or ZNA, are digital tokens used for all transactions on the platform.
The pre-sale is scheduled for October 17 to October 24, 2017.
Zenome’s crowdsale has a unique setup. During the pre-sale and crowdsale, 25% of the total supply of tokens will be distributed. However, the largest portion of tokens, 62.5%, will consist of “frozen tokens”, which serve “solely as long-term incentives to enhance system’s viability in the long run,” explains the official Zenome.io crowdsale website.
During the pre-sale, 1 ZNA is priced at $0.30 USD.
The company has not yet announced a date for its crowdsale. However, the crowdsale will take place over a 14 day period. It will also have a hidden cap of up to $100 million (compared to the pre-sale cap of $960,000).
Zenome is a blockchain project that aims to create a decentralized database of genomic data. That database includes a person’s individual genetic information. Users can share that data with companies – like medical research companies and others – in exchange for ZNA tokens, the utility token used by the platform.
Zenome has one of the most detailed whitepapers we’ve seen in the community. It does a good job of explaining a basic overview of the project and its benefits, while still diving deep into the technical details of their blockchain and the distributed storage system.
You can learn more about Zenome by visiting Zenome.io today.