Artist Akon, Harvard Medical School professor George Church, Nebula Genomics, and AkoinNFT to launch the world’s first genomic NFT

By auctioning off a genome as an NFT, they hope to kick-start a conversation around fair and transparent ways to monetize and share health data.

Genomic NFT

Professor George Church, co-founder of Nebula Genomics and Professor of Genetics at Harvard Medical School, will be partnering with GRAMMY-nominated artist, producer, entrepreneur, and philanthropist, Akon and his NFT platform, AkoinNFT, to auction off Professor George Church’s full genome as the world’s first genomic NFT.

The acclaimed singer and face of Akoin Cryptocurrency and its affiliate AkoinNFT, is thrilled to be collaborating on this one-of-a-kind NFT with Nebula Genomics and George Church for the first-ever genomic NFT. Professor George Church’s DNA carries a great deal of historical significance to the field of personal genomics. To protect and store the underlying genomic data sold as an NFT, Nebula will leverage Oasis Labs’ Parcel SDK which they currently use to protect many of their customer’s sequenced genome and the underlying decentralized blockchain, the Oasis Network.

Professor Church, oftentimes referred to as “The Father of Synthetic Biology,” and is best known for being one of the first people to have their genome sequenced. He was also the first individual to make his medical records and genome publicly available to researchers to be used for countless studies and papers, representing a pivotal moment in science and human history.

How will it work?

Historically, genomic and health data have been monetized with a lack of transparency. Patients and consumers rarely have full insights into who has access to their data. The rise of blockchain and NFTs however, have enabled a new model for how data can be owned and monetized. For the launch of this groundbreaking NFT, AkoinNFT and Nebula Genomics will be collaborating with Oasis Labs, the world’s leading privacy-first blockchain in order to store Church’s DNA on the Oasis Network. The NFT for George’s genome will be depicted as a high-res artistic representation of his genome and likeness. Additionally, this NFT will encode the digital location of George’s full genomic data, hosted on the Oasis Network. The highest bidder on Church’s NFT will take ownership of this NFT representation, as well as the proof of ownership of this genomic data. Customers will also have the opportunity to receive Nebula’s 30x whole genome sequencing of their personal DNA when purchasing the NFT.

By auctioning off his genome as an NFT, Nebula Genomics, Professor Church and AkoinNFT are kick-starting a conversation around fair and transparent ways to monetize and share health data. A portion of the profits will be donated to rare-disease research. More details about the auction will be announced shortly. The auction will be held on Thursday, June 10, 2021.

On the record

“I am so excited about bringing the George Church DNA NFT into the world with the amazing team at Nebula Genomics and everyone at AkoinNFT. Advances in the field of genomics, led by people like George Church and companies like Nebula Genomics, are changing the world as are the advances in blockchain technology,” says Akon. “As we celebrate the artist within all of us, there is no better indicator than our own Genome Sequenced DNA to showcase the individuality that makes us who we are. This NFT drop will be groundbreaking in so many ways,” the singer added.

“We’re thrilled to see the Oasis Parcel SDK and the Oasis Network used to tokenize George’s sequenced genome” said Anne Fauvre, COO of Oasis Labs. “We envision Parcel and the Oasis Network, with its ability to tokenize numerous classes of off-chain assets, as the ideal platform for securing the next generation of NFTs.”

The context

Blockchain is steadily gaining ground in healthcare and Nebula Genomics is certainly of the pioneers in this field. It, however, is not the only “game in town,” as there are other companies in this space, both small and big. We try to cover them all in our “Blockchain in Healthcare” report which you can readily buy from our sister website – DHbriefs. Or you could get sign-up for our Premium Membership and grab all reports in a bundle. It’s your call. 😉