Blockchain Firm Luna DNA Wants To Incentivize Sharing Of Genetic Information With Cryptocurrencybr>
Bob Kain is the CEO and Co-Founder Luna DNA, a genomic and medical research database that uses blockchain technology.
Kain joined Illumina pre-IPO in 1999 and retired in 2014, as the Chief Engineering Officer. Prior to joining Illumina, Kain was the Director of the Microarray Business Unit at Molecular Dynamics. He is also on the Scientific Advisory Boards of Dovetail Genomics, Singular Genomics, and Edenroc Biosecurity, and is the co-founder of Revere Biosensor.
Additionally he is the co-founder and chairman of the board of a successful health & fitness business, Mesa Rim Climbing and Fitness Center, with multiple locations in San Diego, California and Reno, Nevada. Kain received a BS in Physics from San Diego State University and an MBA from Saint Mary’s College of California.
Luna DNA aims to incentivize sharing of genetic information with its own cryptocurrency, called Luna Coin. The company is considering plans to raise money through an initial coin offering (ICO) in the first three months of 2018.
BLOCK TRIBUNE: What’s the idea behind the blockchain database system?
BOB KAIN: Luno DNA’s vision is to utilize the blockchain to enable community ownership of the Luna genome/phenome database. The Luna Coin will provide and incentive for contributing data to the community owned database, at the same time the blockchain wallet will be the mechanism for documenting an individual’s personal ownership. Additionally, the blockchain database will be used to store the encryption that links a person de-identifed data to the individual.
BLOCK TRIBUNE: Please explain the functionality of Luna DNA.
BOB KAIN: When an individual contributes valuable information to the Luna database the individual will receive Luna Coin, as well as ownership in the Luna database. When a discovery company extract value from the Luna database the company will pay for that activity with Luna Coin. This payment in Luna Coin will then flow back to the Database owners, based on their percent ownership.
BLOCK TRIBUNE: How about security? How can blockchain secure the patients data?
BOB KAIN: The blockchain will be used to secure the link between the de-identifeid data and the individual. The data itself will be stored more traditionally in a system similar to that used by financial institutions.
BLOCK TRIBUNE: Are there any partnership and collaboration with healthcare companies?
BOB KAIN: We do plan on establishing partnerships but are not ready to discuss them at this time.
BLOCK TRIBUNE: How are you different compared to other blockchain health data platform?
BOB KAIN: We are empowering the community to come together for the purpose of driving discovery, as a community. The community will also receive the economic benefit when discoveries are commercialized. At this time, we do not believe that any other entities is pursuing this business model.
BLOCK TRIBUNE: What challenges do you see to the wider adoption of blockchain?
BOB KAIN: A main challenge is that the blockchain is not well understood. It is primarily associated with cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin. The value of blockchain as an enabling technology that facilitates decentralized ownership is often overshadowed by the publicity surrounding bitcoin.