Nebula Genomics is putting up Harvard University's George Church's genome for sale as a nonfungible token (NFT), The Scientist reports. It adds that with the auction, Nebula is seeking to highlight issues of data ownership.
NFTs, as this explainer from the Verge notes, use a blockchain approach — similar to cryptocurrencies — to provide a certificate of authenticity or ownership for a typically digital object, often art. According to The Scientist, Church's nonfungible token will include his publicly available genomic data as well as a related piece of art.
Nebula's Kamal Obbad further tells it that NFTs could provide a way for people to license or share their genomic data. "So the idea of the NFT is, can we explore a new way of doing that through an NFT where monetization is included? Can we potentially provide an example for a future model that maybe Nebula will use for how users can choose to share or license their data to third parties?" he adds in a Q&A with The Scientist.
When the auction of Church's nonfungible token is to occur is to be announced Sunday, DNA Day, The Scientist adds.