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Millions across the world have been testing their DNA using a new form of DNA kits that tell them family history amongst other factors about their lives. All this is done by spitting in a tube at home and then mailing off the kit. These samples contain data that could potentially be extremely valuable to scientists looking to research and understand certain diseases. Many consumers are impeding this process by not opting in to give their information to the scientific research committees, but this could change soon.

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A group of scientists recently came out with the idea to get those consumers to cough up their genetic information. That idea relies on the principle of giving consumers cryptocurrency in exchange for their DNA data. During the first quarter of 2018, those DNA tests will be able to be shared given the consumers consent in exchange for a cryptocurrency known as Luna coin. The idea is basically that consumers should be rewarded for their genetic data, or the permission to share their data, and what better way to reward them than to do so in the form of cryptocurrency. Michael Witz, a Luna Coin co-founder the cryptocurrency expert of the project stated that “we view that as an asset and want everybody to release the value of that asset.”

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To help the model, Luna Coin is playing to the same incentives that most cryptocurrencies that are popular use. Given the high surge of bitcoin, hundreds of digital currencies have been created promising many investors certain incentives with little actually following through. The hopes are high that this company is able to help investors get a little incentive for giving their data to the company. This is the first time something like this has happened, so it will be interesting to see how it plays out.


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