Posted on

PhD Student Wins 1 Bitcoin For Cracking DNA Code Challenge

A young PhD student has won 1 bitcoin by cracking a code in a tube of DNA – a challenge created at the 2015 World Economic Forum in Davos.

University of Antwerp doctoral student Sander Wuyts successfully solved the DNA Storage Bitcoin Challenge before the deadline set by its creator, European Bioinformatics Institute professor Nick Goldman.

“Goldman was still willing to send me a tube of DNA,” Wuyts recounts in an accompanying release about how he only decided to enter at the end of 2017 after seeing a tweet from the well-known British scientist.

“The DNA contained instructions on how to claim the bitcoin, the logo of the European Bioinformatics Institute, a drawing of James Joyce and a few other things.”

Wuyts and a small team collaborated to win the prize, even organizing a “small hackathon” to widen the potential for cracking the DNA code.

As the 2018 Davos Forum gets underway with Cointelegraph in attendance, Wuyts’ is the latest example in what has been a common trend in Bitcoin for several years: incentivizing innovation, mostly through hackathons, to further the capabilities of new technology.

Wuyts continued about the challenge’s background:

“To be honest, I had my doubts about the feasibility of using DNA to store data. This challenge changed that. Now I know very well that this new technology offers great opportunities, maybe even for my own future research.”

He added he would use the Bitcoin prize money to fund research and reward those who helped him win.