A lot of related areas - blockchain, crypto and artificial intelligence - are merging and combining in new and exciting ways. And now I've just come across Genecoin - a project that proposes storing human DNA on the Bitcoin blockchain. The basic idea here is that you'd have your human genome sequenced and converted into digital data. From there, you'd have this data uploaded to the Bitcoin network, where it would be permanent and immutable for future generations.
But there's something very creepy going on here.
Genecoin refers to DNA as "the original blockchain" and suggests that "passing genes down generations is an unreliable backup method." In other words, why pass your DNA on to future generations the natural way - by having children - when you can pass this genetic material down via Bitcoin? One of the taglines for Genecoin is "Make a Backup of Yourself Using Bitcoin." (Because, oh I don't know, someone years from now might want to play around with your DNA?)
Here's a YouTube video from FaceLikeTheSun calling Genecoin "the creepiest ICO I've ever seen":
While I'm not sure that I'd agree with all of the occult and biblical prophecy aspects of Genecoin mentioned in the video, it is nevertheless, very creepy. One of the more interesting observations made in the video is that this Genecoin project might have actually been created by an AI and not a human. That would be the ultimate sci-fi dystopian film scenario, right? A sentient machine is trying to deceive humanity into giving up its genetic code so that it can use this DNA in new (and perhaps nefarious) ways?
If you read this Coin Telegraph article from 2014 to the end, the anonymous developers behind Genecoin suggest that one of the results of the project might be the ability to "grow blockchain creatures." This would involve encoding blockchains into living organisms. WTF? So in addition to encoding DNA on the Bitcoin blockchain, the process might go the other way as well -- encoding the Bitcoin blockchain into your DNA?
My head is spinning right now. Coin Telegraph captioned the last part of its article on Genecoin "What the hell is this thing?" and I'd have to agree. The good news for humans is that the Genecoin project seems to have gone dark. The last tweet from Genecoin was in September 2017, when the team (or AI) behind Genecoin cryptically noted, "People are waking up to Genecoin's vision of network fitness." While I'm sure that some people are looking for a form of "digital immortality," I'll have to pass on this for now. But I have to admit, it would make a great sci-fi film.
DNA photo via Pixabay
Genecoin tweet: screengrab via Twitter
DNA double helix image via Pixabay