The fully anonymous home DNA testing marketplace.

The problem Degenics solves

The Centralization Problem of Genetic Testing

With the rise of popularity of companies like 23andme and ancestry.org, personal genetics testing has become a US$ 9 billion market this year, and will grow to US$ 18 billion by 2025.

There are, however, major ethics questions.

The leading companies are owned by centralized organizations who own your KYC-DNA pairs and thus hold massive power over you:

Anything from providing forensic proof in criminal cases without user consent, to tracking you offline.

What's worse, these companies already sell users' genes to drug research companies with arguable consent.

In the near future, insurance companies may utilize your genetic profile to determine your premiums, and companies hiring applicants may choose on the basis of genetically-determined personality traits.

Decentralized Genetics

Degenics creates a physical-digital bridge that allows users to send in genetic samples to be tested, completely anonymously. Payment is made in crypto, and no KYC data is shared. Genetics labs (from DIY labs, universities, hospitals, or smaller personal genetic testing startups) can list genetic testing products on the marketplace and provide results through assymetric encryption. User genomes are sovereign, anonymized and reusable for additional tests.

Use cases include your potential for a severe COVID-19 response, ancestry, and parentage.

The Post-Pandemic Potential

Due to the pandemic, there is no lack of availability of PCR equipment ownership. Many startups and hospitals have invested in PCR equipment, which can be repurposed for personal genetic testing. They can easily be brought into this ecosystem.

Challenges we ran into

DNA File encryption:

To make customer’s DNA files private and anonymous, we needed to have a mechanism to make it accessible only by the owner of the file. To do this we encrypt the file using the owner’s public key. Therefore only the user will be able to decrypt the file using his/her private key.

Large file uploads:

DNA results file size can be large and we are currently using infura’s IPFS service, which have a 100mb single upload limit. to work around this, we stored the files in smaller chunks.
This technique should be able to handle real world DNA files that can be gigabytes in size.

Unresponsive UI on file encryption and file uploads

File encryption and uploads to IPFS can take a long time and doing it on the browser’s main thread can make the UI unresponsive. So we used web workers for those tasks and keep the UI responsive for better user experience.