Coinbase founder Fred Ehrsam once wrote that virtual reality could be blockchain’s “killer app.” A biotech software company headquartered on the UC San Diego campus agrees. Nanome, which focuses on VR applications for science and technology applications, has blended the two on its blockchain platform, Matryx.

Nanome has been creating virtual reality tools for scientists and engineers since CEO Steve McCloskey graduated from the world’s first nanoengineering department at UC San Diego. Company engineers design tools for the molecular level, including complex math visualizations to molecular level designs of organic compounds.

Nanome has two main products, though they’ve designed additional tools for their corporate partners, such as chemical company Solvay. CalcFlow allows researchers to visualize complex mathematics in 3D virtual reality. Nano one, currently in use by enterprise in research and development, serves as a molecular design suite for B2B sales in the biotechnological and pharmaceuticals industry. Both products are available as Early Release consumer versions on virtual reality marketplaces Steam and Oculus.

On the Matryx blockchain platform scientific inquiry is incentivized via crypto-token rewards for contributions to an array of projects. Perhaps one day a pharmaceutical company, University or an individual will place a bounty with predetermined parameters, such as the bounty to be paid for pre-eminent panaceas. While this might be done via Matryx’s native crypto-token, which is currently offered via a token sale, it might also be done via other crypto-tokens using Edge (formerly Airbitz) SDK technology.

Blockchain technology also enables Matryx to trace intellectual property rights. And so there can be multiple types of bounties tackling the same question. While a pharmaceutical company paying for research might wish to own the IP for which it pays, a distributed online creation community might prefer to give the IP to the public domain. The Matryx distributed tools will allow for many types of projects, like a rocket turbine or spaceship, as well as various IP arrangements. Nanome clients currently use VR products to experiment with diverse iterations of potential new medicines in search of the next big cure.

The blockchain and VR company envisages a research environment in which ‘the crowd’ works on mankind’s most pressing scientific questions alongside public institutions and corporations. “A lot of what we are doing with VR and blockchain is democratizing access to science,” says Nanome CEO Steve McCloskey. “Many people have trouble with mathematics, for instance, when it starts dealing in 3D figures. We strive to make the process of learning 3D mathematics more fun with VR. We want to onboard more people to math and science with our technology. Blockchain allows us to incentivize contributors with the Ethereum blockchain.” A collaboration platform such as Matryx is today a technological need, says McCloskey.


“Science uses centralized third party servers to post and publish,” he says, “but when it come to designing a new drug, we believe a public, immutable, and trustless blockchain is most appropriate.”