(Roland Song, chairman of the World Gene Chain DNAC Foundation)
In the movie “A World without Thieves”, the Chinese Master Ge once said: What is the most valuable thing in 21th century? Talent! Today, this no longer applies. The most valuable thing in this day and age is data. The arrival of cloud computing and big data era is meant to maximize the value of data. However, when the centralized data is commercialised, individuals who are the contributors of the data have never been duly rewarded.
The beginning of the block chain open era creates a fantastic opportunity for the individual data’s value realisation and the data feeders. Its distributed storage mechanism can provide security protection for private personal data, and smart contracts can provide the public with prompt and convenient payment and transaction services. Gene, which has the most individualised attributes, appears even more unique when compared with the data coming from people’s everyday life, be it movement, transaction or consumption. Accordingly its value should be most properly recognised.
However, the huge cost of genetic interpretation was once a mountain laid across in the path of commercialization. Now technology evolution has greatly reduced that threshold, from the initial millions of US dollars to now mere US $1,200. What is around the corner is a big wave of block chain + gene data entrepreneurial uprising. And the DNAC World Gene Chain DNAC has commanded a pinnacle point through the labelling of ‘World’.
It is a very compelling title. More importantly what counts next is the project operation itself. This is where wether it can really set the base and win the future. This article will shed some light to the public from the point of view of resources, background and long term planning.
Can DNAC hold up its ‘World’ title?
Due to the blockchains’ borderless nature, many projects favour the word ‘Global’ in their titles. Now that DNAC names its blockchain project with the big word ‘World”, what is the rational behind such a bold claim?
According to Roland Song, chairman of the DNAC Foundation, “The block chain project is geared towards the social behavior of human beings. Therefore, it is confined to the man made society, but the world of genes does not only include people, but also animals, plants, bacteria, viruses and other organic organisms, so our project is rightly named after the ‘world’.”
Then how do the project’s plan and design cover the whole world?
It is understood that the future vision of DNAC is categorised in two phases: 1.0 and 2.0. In the 1.0 phase, the human genetic data is used as the main body of the commercial architecture. Each person’s genetic data is interpreted and stored and then used in a variety of personalised services such as precision medical care, food safety, sports health, disease preventio; In the 2.0 phase, the scope of genetic mapping will be extended to animals, plants, microorganisms, bacteria, viruses, etc., providing more basis for the development of human health, agricultural high-tech, ecological environment, food, chemical industry and so on.
Is the application scenario of DNAC realistic?
At the moment, more than 90% of block chain projects are likely to fail. The industry analysis points out that such a high mortality rate is mainly due to the mounting task of finding real applications, not to mention the fact that many projects are designed mainly for the purpose of capital raising. Some commentaries even declare that block chain projects without real applications are rogue projects, which underlies the importance of the project applications. So, what application scenarios can DNAC support? and can it find real applications?
In the interview, Roland Song described several application scenarios for their project:
1) Personal precision medical treatment. Nowadays, the high incidences of cancer, tumour, cardiovascular disease make the public realise the importance of health. People of just over 30 are starting to pay attention to the healthy living. If everyone can interpret and understand their own genetic changes, they can predict their physical changes in advance and take targeted actions to prevent the occurrence of unexpected events. One role of DNAC is that it can make use of the blockchain’s decentralised characteristics and distributed ledger to record the whole gene data and its changes to form a precise and reliable basis for personal medical treatment.
2) Targeted personal development. The personal genetic map provides individuals with a full range of interpretations including personality check and forecast of areas of expertise. Parents can use this map as the reference in the children’s character building, future planning and career choices.
3) Investigation of missing people. The uniqueness of DNA is a person’s truest and most reliable label in the world. When someone has gone missing, he or she is recorded in the public security system. Whenever he or she seeks medical treatment, the hospital data interface will trigger the DNAC’s alarm system through the data smart contract. This will pin point the missing person’s physical location and hence complete the search task.
Not only that, when DNAC is upgraded to 2.0, it will be used in pet care, horse origin, dog origin, food origin and so on.
At present, it is generally accepted that Bitcoin is the 1.0 stage of blockchain, and Ethereum has taken blockchain into 2.0 stage, and now with the maturity of DApp technology, blockchain has entered 3.0 stage. The mission of the blockchain has also changed to building a DApp ecosystem through smart contracts.
The establishment of DNAC public chain is based on the blockchain 3.0 technology. It is to build a DNAC public chain together with medical, R&D and other institutions as the side chains, as well as individual users as a block to form an integral ecosystem. Right now, many projects are still at the conceptual stage. The technical team of DNAC public chain has provided projects with more mature and innovative technology support to arrive at various DApp consensus on the DNAC public chain through smart contracts. The DNAC’s product portfolio will continue to be launched to bring real gene data into smart contracts. This will help realise the smart contracts’ value and lead DNAC to true commercialisation.
However, are the conditions of project implementation all met? Roland Song seems to be fairly confident on this: “At the moment, there are two main bottlenecks in the DNAC operation. The first is the price. When interpretation cost of personal gene was millions dollar high, it was impossible to carry on with the project, but now that cost has been reduced to only US$1200 and possibly will go even lower in the future, it has created conditions for the universality and popularisation of genetic interpretation.
The second is the demand of society. One favourable factor is that with the drop of genetic test cost, at the personal level, the hard demand and curiosity of the market will take place, from initially individual to ultimately group. And from the individual data value realisation point of view, the public will be pleased to participate in DNAC projects. People can turn data into monetary value by authorising hospitals, research institutes and laboratories to use their individual data to derive a certain group gene data. This will inevitably become the trend in the era of big data.
At the institutional and organisational level in industries such as medical care, considerable amount of human, material, financial and energy resources has to be spent on storing individual’s medical history or data. What DNAC blockchain technology can deliver is to accurately record everyone’s individual gene data for a lifetime and to positively identify each individual person. It is a technology everyone will only be too pleased to accept. It is our ultimate goal to create a gene passport for every individual person and every single creature.
What are the supporting advantages for DNAC?
The booming of blockchain industry has seen new influx of many entrepreneurial projects. There is no shortage of competitors along the same race track. The advantages then become an important differentiating factor in determining how far and how high each project will reach.
Roland Song believe that their project can be explained in three aspects:
First, strategic advantages. Currently, there are very few blockchain + gene projects in the world. There are a listed company in US and MIT in the run overseas and domestically only some people in Huada may have this thought and some in Jiangsu are doing genetic testing. All they are doing is to store the data or use the project to trace the origin. On one hand the business is single phased and on the other hand it may be restrained in the physical territory and limited in the business development.
The World Gene Chain is open to the whole world, bringing human, animals, plants, bacteria, viruses and other organic organisms into genetic testing. It is developing a public chain, not a side chain on top of the public chain based on Bitcoin or Ethereum. It will form a complete and close ecosystem together with other cooperating gene blockchain projects as well as medical, research institutions and individuals.
In this ecosystem, individual can monetise his/her gene data by providing data through a private key; institutions and projects will be able to obtain data from the public chain and use the smart contracts to make payments; DNAC becomes the “AliPay” in the decentralised gene database. The market will form a hard demand with the the popularisation of gene data and acceptance of its value and this will propel the ecosystem into a self perpetuating mode. This is a benchmark in evaluating the quality of a block chain project.
Second, advantages of cooperating organisations. To facilitate the global layout of the 1.0 phase of the DNAC project, they chose the Christian Anxi Hospital, which has 147 medical institutions worldwide as their partner. The very first choice is Taiwan’s Tai’an Hospital, which has now reached a strategic partnership with DNAC. There will be more hospitals in its system to join the program.
One Australian listed medical institution and a Hong Kong listed drug research and development company are due to sign partnership agreements with DNAC. This will lend considerable support to DNAC at this stage.
In addition, DNAC has also received strategic investments from world-renowned funds, South Korean Bithumb shareholder Omnite, and a Hong Kong-listed pharmaceutical company (to be disclosed after the HK exchange announcement).
Third, team advantage. At the moment, DNAC has attracted many famous R&D institutions and quality companies from Australia, England, America, Singapore and China to work together on the project. It has developed an international team comprising of many talents from biotechnological science, genetics, blockchain technology and finance industries. All these have formed a core assurance to the success of the whole project.
“DNAC needs a very long time cycle to reach its maturity and perfection, but I shall persevere until my own dream comes alive. I am ready to spend the next 5 to 10 years on this project until the market forms a hard demand.!” Roland Song expressed this firm dedication to me in the end.
World Gene Chain