Today in company updates: Equibit Group unveils digital wallet, DNAstack launches app to power genomics data analysis

This week, several Canadian startups have made announcements, launching new products, partnerships, and more. Here’s the latest on Canada’s movers and shakers.

Equibit Group unveils digital wallet for Equibit system

Equibit Group, which created Equibit blockchain and blockchain applications for the global securities industry, has unveiled Portfolio, a digital wallet for the Equibit system.

Equibit Group said Portfolio, which is expected to be available later this year, will be used to store the company’s own blockchain (equibits or EQB) and bitcoin, and allow users to trade EQB and Equibit-registered securities. Equibit announced that it sold $250,000 worth of equibits on February 1.

Other features of Portfolio include the ability to perform peer-to-peer trades with investors and issuers, create and issue securities, as well as view market depth for all Equibit-registered securities. Equibit Group said Portfolio offers investor relations management functionalities for tasks such as polls, proxies, and dividend payments.

“We’ve made tremendous progress with Portfolio, designed to offer unrivalled functionality that doesn’t compromise user experience,” says Chris Horlacher, CEO of Equibit Group. “We’re fast approaching the point where Portfolio will be ready for public use and are excited to deliver a digital wallet that will exceed the expectations of our customers.”

In November 2016, Equibit Group found itself in hot water after announcing that John McAfee was joining the team as chief security officer — though McAfee later denied the claim. McAfee clarified that his role was in advising the board, and that he would continue in this role. Horlacher said the matter was due to US press outlets misunderstanding the company’s press release.

DNAstack launches app to power genomics data analysis at scale

Toronto-based DNAstack has announced an update to its cloud-based genomics software platform.

DNAstack said the update features a new application called Workflow, which aims to help genome scientists find, develop, share, and run bioinformatic workflows at scale. DNAstack added that the update will allow the company to increase global access to bioinformatics by offering its platform without a subscription fee for research use and pay-per-use pricing for data storage and computation.

“Our mission is to improve and save lives by democratizing access to genomics data and the infrastructure needed to analyze it at scale,” said Marc Fiume, CEO and co-founder of DNAstack. “With the release of this application, we’re making the latest technologies in genomics broadly accessible and fostering standards to promote open science, reproducibility, sharing, and collaboration.”

According to DNAstack, Workflow’s users can access curated pipelines like Broad Institute’s GATK Best Practices, an end-to-end genotyping toolkit, or author their own customer analyses. The Workflow app also includes a Workflow Description Editor (WDL) to help software developers and bioinformaticians develop, refine, and run their pipelines in the cloud.

As part of its product update, DNAstack said it has collaborated with the Ontario Institute of Cancer Research and the University of California, Santa Cruz to connect the Workflow App to Dockstore, which is a set of tools and workflows shared by members of the bioinformatics community. Through this collaboration, users can browse the catalogue of pipelines available on Dockstore and click to deploy them on their own data in DNAstack.

“Consistent and coordinated processing of millions of samples collected from around the world will be needed to resolve complex diseases like cancer,” said Brian O’Connor, who helped create Dockstore. “Dockstore is a resource for sharing Docker-based workflow definitions, and the integration with DNAstack brings exciting new efficiencies and scale with which they can be run.” DNAstack is the first system to streamline execution of workflows from Dockstore.

In January, DNAstack received an undisclosed amount of financial contribution from the National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP)


Amira Zubairi

Amira Zubairi is a staff writer and content creator at BetaKit with a strong interest in Canadian startup, business, and legal tech news. In her free time, Amira indulges in baking desserts, working out, and watching legal shows.

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