Nick Goldman, European Bioinformatics Institute professor, claimed the DNA Storage Bitcoin Challenge at the World Economic Forum in Davos in 2015. Sander Wuyts, a University of Antwerp doctoral student was the only one who finally solved it in January 2018.
The student collaborated with a small team of enthusiasts to crack the DNA tube. They even had a hackathon to widen the potential of DNA-storage.
As Nick Goldman, the creator of challenge, said, “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.”
“To be honest, I had my doubts about the feasibility of using DNA to store data,” said Wuyts. “This challenge changed that. Now I know very well that this new technology offers great opportunities, maybe even for my own future research.”
Wuyts would use the Bitcoin prize money to fund research and reward his teammates. We recall that when the challenge started, 1 BTC costed about $329, and now it is $11,000.