March 2021: EncrypGen Progress Report
This month was another exciting, and exceptional step towards bringing EncrypGen within arm’s reach to realizing true commercial viability.
As has been discussed in the Officially Endorsed Telegram channel, these funds will be allocated to acquire customer DNA data through various marketing channels.
If the average cost of customer data acquisition is around $20 USD, then *theoretically* that could lead to a customer data set of over 10,000 DNA profiles!
With that data set of 10,000 DNA profiles sitting on the GeneChain, this scientifically valuable data set starts to become of greater and greater significance to researchers and pharmaceutical companies due to the sample range and cost.
Surpassing The Goal of 10,000 Genetic Data Sets?
The goal of reaching 10,000 data sets was the ambitious goals set by Dr. Koepsell at the end of the 2020 year. At the time, it may have seemed like a bit of a reach for some in the community, but in true EncrypGen fashion, David was keeping his cards close, walking the walk, and tempering expectations.
Then in fairly rapid succession in January and February of 2021, it was revealed that in fact EncrypGen had forged what will become it’s biggest partnership to date with African upstart IndyGeneUS.AI to procure a data set of 19,000 Africans, and tens of thousands more data sets to potentially come after that. These data sets may start arriving on the GeneChain as early as this summer!
Now that the EncrypGen Bond Sale has finished with a total of just over $200,000 USD, there is a very real possibility that this could eventually equate to nearly 10,000 additional genetic data sets to be acquired for EncrypGen’s GeneChain. This is also in addition to the already 1,500 data sets that have been uploaded to date from individuals that feel safer being in control of their genetic data while helping the scientific community.
With 19,000 African data sets in the wait, a possible 10,000 data sets from the bond sale, and the existing 1,500 data sets already residing on the GeneChain, it’s looking very likely that EncrypGen will meet, or exceed, their internal target of 10,000 data sets for 2021. Lots can happen from now until the end of December, but this real-world progress is in itself a reason for celebration. Well done, EncrypGen!
Consumer Distrust of Genetic Genealogy and Testing Companies
Genetic genealogy is such a powerful tool, that it has enabled police forces to solve cold-case crimes from as early as 1967, but it has also stirred debate and raised consumer fears about its misuse by authorities.
Youtube has a plethora of videos outlining how powerful this new genetic genealogy can be, and with any powerful new technology, inevitably it will be abused by those with power, or money, or both. What does this have to do with EncrypGen, you ask?
As consumer distrust of genetic tests grow year by year, and privacy-conscious individuals like yourself start to demand answers with their dollars, EncrypGen will increasingly play a larger role within the genetic data privacy and control space.
With billions of dollars at stake, the big corporations like 23andMe aren’t holding back from getting aggressive, either. In a recent article about how consumers can take control and possibly profit from their own genetic data, an image with 23andMe was used along with instructions on how to download customer’s own genetic data from their site, and within days a trademark complaint was used to get their image off of that article, and have the helpful customer tutorial suspended. (until it’s republished) Of course, that won’t do any good to any genetic corporation that is aiming to persuade consumers that it has their best interests at heart.
Medium Staff did nothing to explain why the article is still suspended, or how it could get fixed, even though the image of 23andMe was quickly removed. That’s not really the point at all.
What’s amazing, is that these powerful genetic corporations are actively breathing behind the shoulders of a new-born data privacy company (EncrypGen), a start-up company that actually wants to help people take control, and profit from, their own genetic data and privacy. That may say more about their corporate ethics, then it does about using a picture of their logo in a helpful tutorial for customers of genetic tests.
The stakes are high for these types of companies and their rich investors, and it seems as though the last thing corporations want, is for consumers to think that their own DNA, well, belongs to them. As absurd as that sounds, that’s actually a common economic model in the data-driven age. YOU AND YOUR DATA are the product, if the service is free, or cheap.
Democratizing DNA: The Advent of De-Sci
In contrast to the above-mentioned profiteers and gate-keepers of genetic data, Dr. Koepsell and Kevin Murcko were a pleasure to watch.
The livestream event was held on Youtube, and was about an hour and a half in length.
They discussed everything from the economics of the company, to the acquisition of testing data, to the fundraising in general, to the future possibilities of EncrypGen and the decentralization of scientific data. David and Kevin were easy to listen to, and learn from, as both companies are respectively embarking in a key growth phase.
Wrapping Up, and Marching On
All-in-all, March was yet another outstanding success in terms of key fundraising, website development, working with prototype genetic art as NFTs, and lots of new press coverage. Congrats to the entire EncrypGen team!
The next two years of development is where the rubber really starts to hit the road for trailblazing EncrypGen. As a big fan, I’m really, really excited to see how the next 24 months is going to unfold!