University of Antwerp PhD student Sander Wuyts has won the DNA Storage Bitcoin challenge, issued by Nick Goldman of the European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI) in 2015. The value of the coin has risen rapidly in three years, while the value of scientific progress is inestimable.
On 21 January 2015, Nick Goldman of the European Bioinformatics Institute explained a new method for storing digital information in DNA to a packed audience at a World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, Switzerland. At the end of his talk, he issued a challenge:
Goldman distributed test tubes containing samples of DNA encoding 1 Bitcoin to the audience (and subsequently posted samples to people who requested them). The first person to sequence (read) the DNA and decode the files it contained could take possession of the Bitcoin.