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The Roundtable: Minting Molecules? NFTs and the Future of Medical Science

Your medical history could soon become an NFT—and maybe contribute to a scientific breakthrough in the process.

While most of the ongoing NFT buzz has centered on their uses in art and entertainment, the technology has potential applications across nearly every industry. A panel of experts joined Roundtable to discuss how NFTs may eventually play a role in science, medical research, and healthcare.

Samuel J. Bolton explains that NFTs could shift the current paradigm for support of scientific research, particularly in countries where funding is not readily available.

“You can generate large amount of revenue from NFTs of fungal or insect specimens," he says. "Some of that money can be used to help develop the technologies in developing parts of the world, in mega-diverse countries, where there’s a need to obtain biological information. NFTs could help to generate the money needed so that they could then, so someone in that country could then do the imaging or the molecular sequencing or whatever that's needed in order to come up with something new." 

He adds, “I’m hopeful that it will create a better connection between people and their cultural and biological heritage."

John Belitsky notes that non-transferable tokens, a close cousin of NFTs, could transform how medical information is used for scientific research.

“You could take your organs or lungs and make a digital copy of it and give that copy to science so it could be studied,” he says. 

“You can give all of your vital information, your heart rate, your blood pressure, your age, if you smoke, a lot of things that people don't want to tell doctors, you can put them on anonymized, HIPAA compliant, non-transferrable token that can then be given to healthcare providers. 

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Watch the full discussion below:

Roundtable Guests:

John Belitsky, Co-Founder, Balcony DAO

Travis Wright, Co-Host, Bad Crypto Podcast

Samuel Bolton, Research Scientist, Florida Department of Agriculture

Miguel Ortiz, Co-Founder, House of Rare