Tackling the Next Steps
he first couple of weeks of the New Year began slowly and then accelerated mightily. By now we are firing on all cylinders.
Smart Contract Development
How great to hear that Vitalik Buterin seems to be focusing on the core challenge of the crypto-world: addressing performance and cost of Blockchains. In his case this is of course almost totally about Ethereum. And it has a direct impact on our development efforts and strategies.
We made significant progress with the coin issue and DAF smart contracts, but still need to refine the economic model. The coin issue, particularly the Genesis Block and its exact distribution and use, will directly impact not just our ability to raise funds but also to scale out.
By design, smart contracts are not easily changeable after they went live. Therefore we need to build flexibility into our code, in a secure and clearly governed manner. This will happen via functions and properties whose changes are governed by formal decisions and votes.
Our approach still stands. We see Ethereum as having the most mature and capable smart contract capabilities. Therefore our token issue is to use Ethereum. About the distributed file storage, the cost of Ethereum transactions ma be prohibitive and we will continue evaluating alternatives like Stellar, IOTA, EOS, and others.
Until the end of the month we want to finalize the smart contract(s) in a scalable manner. This would put us in a position to go live and issue the coins within a matter of days. We will then also test and validate the code from a number of perspectives (i.e. security, flexibility, efficiency), and design and complete the exact user interface for it.
In various calls involving Uwe, Nils, Fiona, and Nyasha from Nairobi, and with input from Debbie, we analyzed the costs and the process of collecting and sequencing genomes. Sticking to crypto-principles means not seek a centralized and one-size-fits-all solution, but to stay open to a variety of approaches. The technical platform and the economic model guide the processes, without the need to manage detailed aspects ourselves.
On the other hand, we will also need to actively provide guidance and support, actively getting involved in developing workable solutions that prove our model in real life. One way of doing this is to develop and clearly describe and support one or two standard processes to collect genome and phenotype data. Our White Paper mentions three generic options.
This would address and support one aspect related to the actual collection of genomes: To find people and organizations and processes with an inherent motivation to upload health and genome data.
The second part is the actual sequencing of the genome, once collected. Whole genome sequencing costs seems to have fallen below $500 in some instances, rapidly approaching the $100 mark. Progress is huge but this still prevents us to pay for sequencing ourselves, with fiat money. What we need to do is to work with the supply chain in a creative manner, and to leverage our coin, which reflects the inherent value of our platform and database.
The larger our database, the larger its value. We therefore have started to integrate a sliding scale into the actual issuing of coin from the Genesis Block. This sliding scale assumes a low base price (reflecting the relatively low tangible value at the beginning) for the early collection and sequencing tasks, and an increasing token price as the database becomes more valuable.
The coin becomes then the actual means to fund the effort. In summary, a database containing 5 million sequenced genomes would have a value of about US$ 2.5 billion, assuming an average sequence cost of $500. With 100 million tokens issued by then, mostly from the Genesis Block, a price of $25 per token is not unreasonable. It reflects real, tangible value.
As we get closer to the issuing of coins, we now are preparing the scaling out via raising funds. For this purpose we started preparing steps to set up an LLC in the U.S., and to set up a Foundation in East Africa. These will have different business purposes, which I will elaborate on later.
We now have the general outline and infrastructure in place for continuous communication via social media and email campaigns. The beginning will be regular updates on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, and then we take it from there.
And then we got a new, highly motivated, Ambassador on board. Asking a deeply personal – and relevant – question in a blog piece he wrote, Oscar Wheeler’s “Will I get cancer?” encapsulates the core motivation for Healid. Yep, that is what we try to find out, and then how to beat it. Welcome Oscar!
The next couple of weeks will see us continuing to drive all the above topics. It will then also lead myself and Fiona to Southeast Asia, where among other points we are preparing for the second stage of our outreach, mainly through meetings in Singapore and in Manila.