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Student Who Won Bitcoin: “I Will Probably Cash It Out”

Sander Wuyts, a PhD student from the University of Antwerp, has won the DNA Storage Bitcoin Challenge, issued by Nick Goldman of the European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI) in 2015, the Institute reports.

However, Wuyts is skeptical as to the value of Bitcoin. “I didn’t win thousands of euros, I won one Bitcoin,” he says. “I will probably cash it out, because I have my doubts about the long-term value of this cryptocurrency”.

One of his followers on Twitter reacted to this:
“You will regret it a lot in the future if you sell it. Look at it this way: it is worth less than 10k now. That's just a few months of pay for your level of education. It's meaningless. But what if you are wrong about its future? Then it will make a difference”.

The challenge had been issued on January 21, 2015, at a World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, Switzerland. The deadline was to be January 21, 2018 - exactly three years later. In that time, the price of Bitcoin increased from USD 230 to c. USD 10,000, as at the press time.

At the meeting, Goldman explained a new method of storing digital information in DNA. To prove the merit of this, Goldman distributed test tubes containing samples of DNA encoding one Bitcoin to the audience (and subsequently posted samples to people who requested them). The first person to read the DNA and decode the files it contained could take possession of the Bitcoin. According to the Institute, “all they needed was the sample, access to a DNA sequencing machine and a grasp of how the code works.”

Wuyts, the PhD student who won the challenge, only started working on it after seeing a tweet about the deadline in early December 2017. The hard work paid off with only a week to go before time was up: on January 16, he published a blog post on cracking the code, with step-by-step, highly technical explanations.

You can watch the full speech from the WEF meeting in 2015 on this link.

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