LunaDNA review – Can you get rewarded for your DNA data?


LunaDNA Review Summary

LunaDNA is a community-owned platform for sharing genetic and health data and receiving compensation. Learn more in our LunaDNA review!

Nebula Genomics

Ease of use


LunaDNA gives users the opportunity to upload genetic data that contributes to research. The service is free and users can even make money by selling their data. There is no DNA testing or analysis associated with this service.


Edited by Christina Swords, Ph.D.

7 facts from our LunaDNA Review 

  1. Location: San Diego, USA
  2. DNA connection: LunaDNA exchanges genetic and health data for shares in their company.
  3. Service: Users upload genetic and/or health data to LunaDNA. You can then choose to have your personal information shared with researchers to benefit scientific discoveries and drug development. 
  4. Types of Data Uploads: DNA data from companies like 23andMe, MyHeritage, AncestryDNA, and FamilyTree DNA. Health data through patient portals and Electronic Health Records
  5. Cost: FREE (you can make money by selling your data)
  6. Privacy: extremely secure service, with de-identified & pooled data, and user ownership over data 
  7. Alternatives: Nebula Genomics offers advanced data security, and the opportunity to earn money. Nebula also provides 30x Whole Genome Sequencing, expanded health and ancestry reports, and more! 

LunaDNA Introduction

This is a review of LunaDNA (Luna DNA), the first community-owned data platform for sharing medical and genomic information for health research. Owned and operated by LunaPBC (Public Benefit Corporation), LunaDNA exchanges health and genomic data for shares of ownership. 

The company was co-founded by former Illumina employees Dawn Barry (President), Bob Kain (CEO), and David Lewis (CFO). Bob Kain also serves on the advisory boards of Dovetail Genomics, Singular Genomics, and Edenroc Biosecurity, and is the co-founder of Revere Biosensor. LunaPBC is based out of San Diego. The company is backed by multiple venture capital firms, such as Illumina Ventures, F-Prime and Arch Venture Partners.

Lunadna was created with its core values centered around developing a community that is transparent and mutually beneficial for all members. This allows the members to be the primary focus of the service. Users have complete control over their information. They can even profit from their data by choosing to sell it to the third-parties. 

Are you interested in getting the most complete DNA test and potentially sharing your DNA data with researchers? Nebula Genomics is the right service for you! We offer the most affordable Whole Genome Sequencing! It is the most complete genetic test that decodes 100% of your DNA. This data will be most useful to yourself as well as researchers if you decide to share it.

Review of how to use LunaDNA

Review of LunaDNA – Sign Up

To sign up for an account with LunaDNA, you must provide your email address. 

Confirmation of email is required to advance. This is done through a two-step authentication using a code sent to your phone number. After your account is confirmed you are asked to agree to their consent. Once done, you can explore the variety of data upload options.

Review of LunaDNA – Upload Data 

The first step to using the service is to upload both your DNA and health data. Currently, they accept DNA files from 23andMe, AncestryDNA, MyHeritage, and FamilyTree DNA. They also ask that users supplement their genomic raw data with health data. This can be electronic health records (EHRs) or you can connect your account with clinic patient portals. 

The company indicates that they are working to support whole-genome, exome, and RNA sequencing data as well. They are hoping to eventually have users upload a variety of different types of personal health data. This also includes data from microbiomes, fitness trackers, and medical devices. 

By providing more information to the service, members can receive more interpretations of their raw data. This will help contribute to the advancement of genomic and medical research. 

As soon as health and DNA data is uploaded, all data is encrypted. This ensures that it can no longer be linked to the user. In addition, users have complete control over their data at all times. 

Data never leaves LunaDNA databases. It is at the discretion of the user to share their genomic data in whatever way they see fit. Even when data is shared with researchers, it does not have identifying information attached. 

You do not need to upload DNA data in order to create an account with LunaDNA. Users can solely participate in health surveys or upload only their medical records. 

To claim shares you must be a United States resident and share your full name. Users must then contribute a DNA file or health record to receive shares. Current health surveys available are on mental wellness, COVID-19 health, family health, and a personal health survey. 

LunaDNA dashboard.
Data sharing options to earn shares.
Data sharing options to earn shares.
LunaDNA surveys.

Review of LunaDNA – Discovery

The main purpose of providing your data to LunaDNA is to benefit the “greater good”. 

Giving researchers access to genetic code and health data accelerates research and helps develop new drugs.

Researchers must pay to have access to information. User data is de-identified, pooled with other data, and only visible through the LunaDNA platform (i.e. cannot be downloaded). 

Researchers pursuing medical research may reach out to you directly to ask for further health information. They may ask you to participate in a clinical trial. Research would identify you based off of a genetic or health characteristic they identified through the randomized pool. 

By bringing data together into one platform, LunaDNA provides an easy to use, one-stop-shop for researchers. Researchers can access valuable information at the click of a button. They can also get access to potential participants for clinical trials. This would identify people with specific genetic and health information that fit the criteria for research purposes. 

Review of LunaDNA – Earning Shares

In September 2019, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) approved LunaDNA’s shares-for-data feature. This means the company is authorized to give you company shares in exchange for their genetic and health data. This allows you to be paid in U.S. dollars for your information. 

Wondering how much money you can make? It depends on the type of data provided. Each data type translates to a number of shares issued. Each share is worth approximately $0.07. Here is a complete list of estimated fair market values for data:

Data value estimates.
Data value estimates provided by LunaDNA.

Community Action in Genetic Research

The ultimate goal of LunaDNA is to mobilize the community to create the largest private database of genetic and health information. This will allow researchers to access information needed to conduct effective scientific tests and medical discoveries. It also maintains the safety and privacy of all those involved. 

Allowing users to control their data challenges the mold of typical genetic data companies. It also allows the community to drive scientific innovation and participate in discoveries. 

LunaDNA provides case studies like Ellis Rose Quesada, a 9-year old with Cystic Fibrosis. She and her mom explain their journey by getting treatment for Ellis. Ellis and her mom advocate for the importance of companies like LunaDNA. 

These databases allow for pharmaceutical companies to find participants for important drugs such as the cure for Cystic Fibrosis. It is test services like this that has provided Rose with improved quality and length of life. 

Recently, LunaDNA has partnered with DiseaseInfoSearch and XCures in order to create a library of information to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. Users can participate in a quick survey after signing up. This will help scientists track long-term outcomes and treatment effectiveness of COVID-19 and assist in fighting future pandemics.

LunaDNA Cost

LunaDNA is a data-sharing platform for uploading DNA data. In addition, it allows you to be a stakeholder in their company in exchange for raw DNA data and health data. This means that you can make money. This depends on how much information you have provided (see chart above for estimates). 

LunaDNA data sharing model.
LunaDNA data sharing model.

Review of LunaDNA Privacy and Data

LunaDNA is committed to providing the highest level of privacy and safety for its users. User data is never made public and never leaves the platform. All data is de-identified and aggregated into other member’s data. This ensures that your data remains anonymous at all times. 

Users have the choice to opt-in or opt-out of participating in research studies. If you choose to do so, your anonymous information is added to a pool of shared data. 

This pool can be searched by approved third-party researchers. This will allow them to identify groups that match their research interests. This group is referred to as a sandbox, and can only be accessed through a “secure computer environment controlled by LunaDNA”. 

Users must opt-in to services that would enable your data to be shared outside of the platform. However, this is not a required feature of LunaDNA. You also have the ability to revoke consent at any time and delete your account. 

If you’ve requested to have your information deleted, all your information from any sandboxes will be removed within 30 days. By revoking your consent, you are also revoking your ownership and shares in LunaDNA. 

LunaDNA’s full Privacy Policy can be found on their webiste.

LunaDNA in the News 

  • Interview with LunaDNA President on PM360.
  • Read about LunaDNA’s merge with Genetic Alliance’s Platform for Engaging Everyone Responsibly (PEER). 
  • Tune in to a Reddit Science Discussion Series with the LunaDNA executive team. 
  • In 2018, LunaDNA raised $4 million, including key investors Illumina Ventures and Arch Venture Partners
  • In 2020, CEO Bob Kain was named to Fast Company’s Annual List of Most Creative People in Business for 2020.

LunaDNA Reviews 

Review of LunaDNA Pros and Cons


  • You own your data 
  • All services are free
  • You can make money off your data 
  • Direct contributions to research and medical breakthroughs
  • Strong commitment to safety and privacy 


  • No form of genetic sequencing offered 
  • No analysis or reports based on genetic or health information 

Nebula Genomics 

We finish our LunaDNA review with a comparison to Nebula Genomics, and other genetic services.

Nebula Genomics is a genetic testing company that believes that you should have complete ownership over your genetic data. Our services ensure that only you benefit from sharing your genetic information. This is done through the development of advanced technologies to ensure secure genomic data sharing. 

30x Whole Genome Sequencing

Nebula Genomics is also at the forefront of genetic sequencing and offers 30x Whole Genome Sequencing. This allows you to access 100% of your DNA sequence. This is compared to only 0.01% that is sequenced by microarray services such as 23andMe and AncestryDNA. 

Every letter of your DNA sequence is read over 30 times. This ensures that this information is the most accurate possible. This means that the information used by Nebula is the most complete and more accurate than conventional methods. Using this type of sequencing is of the highest value to you and the research field. 

Nebula vs. LunaDNA

Nebula and LunaDNA share many common values. We both are committed to putting you at the center of its service. We will provide you with a safe and transparent experience. 

LunaDNA uniquely offers shares in their company in exchange for genetic and health information. Nebula Genomics offers users cryptocurrency credits for participation in various services. Once these credits accumulate, you can use these credits to purchase genome sequencing services. 

Nebula distinguishes itself from other genome upload services because of our additional services. We provide top of the line genetic testing, detailed health and ancestry reports, and exploration tools. This truly sets Nebula apart from its competitors. We can cater to those looking for DNA upload services and those looking for sequencing services.

23andMeAncestryDNALunaDNANebula Genomics
Type of genetic testing providedMicroarray-based genotyping & reportMicroarray-based genotyping & reportNo DNA testing offered30x Whole- Genome Sequencing
Ability to upload raw DNA dataNoNoYes (23andMe, Ancestry, MyHeritage, MyFamilyTree DNA)Yes (23andMe and Ancestry)
Target customerConsumers who are interested in a limited at-home genetic test.Consumers who are interested in a limited at-home genetic test.Consumers who are interested in contributing to scientific researchConsumers who are interested in advanced reporting and complete DNA testing
Expanded Genetic AnalysisBasic ReportBasic ReportNo reports availableExpanded Health and Ancestry Reports
Who makes money off of your data?23andMeAncestryYOU (by gaining shares)YOU (through cryptocurrency)
Cost$99, $199, or $499$99 – $149Free$0-$299
LunaDNA vs 23andMe vs AncestryDNA vs Nebula Genomics 

Another alternative to LunaDNA is EncrypGen, which is a cryptocurrency based DNA data marketplace. Similarly, you can upload DNA and health data. Read about the recent cooperative effort between EncrypGen and Nebula Genomics to promote Nebula’s 30x Whole Genome Sequencing.

Interested to upload your DNA data to receive reports? We have compiled a comprehensive list of DNA upload sites.

Did you like our LunaDNA review? You can read more reviews on our blog and check out our complete guide to the best DNA test kit and other home tests.

If interested in learning about other sites that allow users to participate in research and contribute to new discoveries, you may want to check out: