ICO Analysis: Zenome

Genomics is an interdisciplinary field of science focusing on the structure, function, evolution, mapping, and editing of genomes. A genome is an organism’s complete set of DNA, including all of its genes. In contrast to genetics, which refers to the study of individual genes and their roles in inheritance, genomics aims at the collective characterization and quantification of genes, which direct the production of proteins with the assistance of enzymes and messenger molecules. In turn, proteins make up body structures such as organs and tissues as well as control chemical reactions and carry signals between cells. Genomics also involves the sequencing and analysis of genomes through uses of high throughput DNA sequencing and bioinformatics to assemble and analyze the function and structure of entire genomes. Advances in genomics have triggered a revolution in discovery-based research and systems biology to facilitate understanding of even the most complex biological systems such as the brain.

The field also includes studies of intragenomic (within the genome) phenomena such as epistasis (effect of one gene on another), pleiotropy (one gene affecting more than one trait), heterosis (hybrid vigour), and other interactions between loci and alleles within the genome. This brief primer on genomics is a good Segway into the Zenome project.

The Zenome Project

We are now able to objectively analyze and observe the behavior of what makes DNA be what it is, exploiting totally new shores on the field, generating an enormous amount of detailed information including patterns and relations between organized molecular systems in an organic entity and biological automation on a whole new level.

According to Nature.com “Two research groups came across the phenomenon independently while studying extracellular vesicles — pieces of cell membranes that pinch off into bubbles and float away from the cells. These vesicles circulate throughout the body, but little is known about their function. The teams, led by neuroscientist Jason Shepherd at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City and cell biologist Vivian Budnik at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester, looked at mice and flies (Drosophila melanogaster), respectively.”

Projects like Zenome allow for individual units around the world share their DNA information with a decentralized blockchain based platform, where digital representations of the DNA, under the form of accurate information, are stored, analyzed and exchanged between scientific research foundations, academic labs, hospitals and health technology programs and pharmaceutical research to mention a few.

The Token

ZNA is the native currency of the Zenome Platform, a token based on the Ethereum Network (ERC-20).

The initial pool of tokens released for the presale was 3.2 million ZNA. After the presale reached about 350,000 ZNA, the remaining tokens were burned.

The total number of tokens that will be released at the time of the main token sale is 35 million, of which 25% will be frozen for use as a reward to network participants (for example, for the provision of hard disk space or computing power). Thus, the initial supply was 3.2 million at the moment of the presale. The total supply of the token is 35 million ZNA (including burned tokens), while the max supply will never surpass 35 million tokens. At the same time, the circulating supply will not be more than 75% of the total supply, which is about 26.25 million ZNA.

As for the use of the token, it is a utility token that performs a functional role in the Zenome system, which means it is not just a speculative tool. Inside the Zenome network, a Zenome platform user could use the token to purchase genetic tests and reports, pay for genetic counselors, physicians, and health managers. In fact, you can pay for any service related to your genome, up to and including dating services.

Industrial companies, academia and research sectors will be able to purchase personal genomic data (genetic, medical, behavioral and other) based on real human individuals that are part of the network in exchange for ZNA tokens.  ZNA will be used to build a market for genomic data and any services around it.

Team

The founders of the Zenome Project are Alexey Gorbachev (Research Institute of Physical-Chemical Medicine,  whopreviously worked for Quantum, GenEra and, Institute of Nutrition) and Nikolay Kulemin with a Ph.D. in Bioinformatics from the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, department of molecular and biological physics (MIPT). Vladimir Naumov (Genomic Data Scientist) and Sergey Popov (Blockchain Developer) are concluding the core of the Zenome project. The team seems aptly qualified to run a genomics project of this nature.

Verdict

Until recently, the genomics industry was based mostly on speculation, using a substantial amount of animal testing experiments as “information” inputs in order to analyze a biological concept, understand it on a certain degree and determine how it might affect humans. One can readily see how this approach is limiting when it comes to studying human DNA.

Platforms like Zenome can gather “information” regarding the human DNA based on real data collected by physical labs across the globe, which will create certified digital or physical representations of our DNA. We can send this DNA information to the Zenome platform through an application and that would support the fact that this specific information is a catholic example of a specific individual’s DNA.

Zenome aims to provide individuals with the opportunity to control and even monetize their genomic information. One of the project’s core strengths is the promise of establishing equal conditions for drug treatment. It is this interplay that could make Zenome an attractive investment for those willing to learn more about the industry.

Risks

Zenome might sound like a solid project, but if you’re looking at it as an investor and only, you should consider the following facts:

  • The genome market is a brand new field not only when it comes to blockchain but also on a physical scale. There will be a very strict group of organizations that would be keen on purchasing genome databases in the near future. -1
  • A user’s personal genomic information could be exposed to companies that may try to personalize their products based on your data. In other words, there may be significant ethical issues at play in this industry. -3
  • In order to have your genomic data sent to the Zenome platform, you should visit a local lab, authorized by Zenome and experience DNA Sequencing on first hand. This may limit adoption, especially when you compare it to some of the leading DNA ancestral services on the market. (These services send the kit directly to your door and your DNA sample can be sent back via mail.) -2

Growth Opportunity

Zenome plans to hit a market cap of $70bn by the end of 2019, based on their partnerships and analysts. Previous ICO speculations showed us that this number could vary dramatically from the expectations, especially in 2018, where academic, industrial, governmental and banking money are flowing into the blockchain sphere. Below are some of the biggest growth opportunities associated with Zenome:

  • Blockchain was certainly a surprise for all of us and while some are obsessed with the monetary applications and the profitable side, there are literally 4th generation blockchain based projects that are on another level entirely. These projects could unveil the real capabilities of that new technology in almost any possible field we can think of. Zenome appears to be on this level. +3
  • Creating the next generation of drugs that target molecular-level functions is unavoidable. A project like Zenome could help us reach that potential. In other words, the project is well poised to capitalize on partnerships with the pharmaceutical industry, which is highly lucrative. +3
  • Data science technologies in combination with accurate information about human genomics certainly create a whole new concept in the sphere and that is what Zenome is working on. Eventually, health tech will start to integrate  Zenome or similar platforms will have to be established in order to understand better and most important accurately what we are made of, how we can affect our environment and how it affects us. +3
  • The team is led by domain experts in genomics as well as blockchain professionals – a rare combination that could lead to exceptional results. +3

Disposition

The Zenome platform may need some time to create a network of labs, academic partnerships and most important convincing people to do a DNA test is not that simple yet.

We know that we are rolling into an era of machines and humans integrating their intelligence and capabilities into single use cases, but Zenome might sound a little bit “Sci-Fi” for the majority of the people, causing a long curve.

Long-term investors will appreciate its value, realizing the disruption a project like this could bring along when the global health industry realizes the capabilities it offers.

A score of 6 out of 10 is reserved for Zenome, based on present facts.

Investment Details

  • Type: Crowdsale
  • Symbol: ZNA
  • Pre-Sale: Concluded
  • Public Sale: February 1st, 2018
  • Payments Accepted: ETH

Disclaimer: The writer has no position in Zenome at the time of writing.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock. 

Comments
  • I’d like to know what the quote from journal Nature has to do with anything in this ICO analysis.
    Also it seems written in a hurry and a lot of times it’s very hard to understand what exactly the author is trying to say, just look at the information about the number of tokens for example. We are paying $40/month for this and honestly it’s starting to look like this may not be worth it.

Leave a Reply