New technologies may have rapid, dramatic effects on society, but they may also spread slowly and subtly. Blockchain-powered decentralized science (DeSci) is taking off after some years of gestation. Its impact is being felt not only in the rarified confines of high-tech labs but more broadly in the business world as well.
Psychedelics and longevity
Paul Kohlhaas, co-founder and CEO of Molecule — a platform for biotech decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) founded in 2019 — spoke about pharmaceutical research and its funding on the Zima Red podcast in April. “We believe it could be way cheaper, if it was coordinated in a better way,” Kohlhaas said of pharmaceuticals research. “I think there’s this cultural and bureaucratic problem.”
Kohlhaas compared blockchain in pharma to fintech in banking. “The banking industry has only started evolving in the past 10 years in the wake of fintech, because fintech is starting to really hurt their bottom line and take away customers,” he said.
Molecule allows researchers, biotech companies and universities to combine data and intellectual property (IP) rights into IP-nonfungible tokens (IP-NFTs), thus creating a new market. The holder of an IP-NFT could solicit funding to continue research activities, or an organization can reach an agreement with the IP-NTF holder to use the data and IP for its own purposes.
Funding may also find new outlets. Kohlhaas mentioned psychedelics research in psychiatry as a priority that he embraces personally, as well as longevity. “Longevity startups are currently funded by…