If you’ve seen movies like Idiocracy, even at the future’s lowest level of technological advancement, people will be scanning body parts to get through life. It may be 25, 100, or 500 years from now, but those days are in our future. For some people, the future is now, as the world’s first verified bio-payment using Bitcoin has been performed through a microchip implant into a man’s hand.
Meet Patric Lanhed
With the help of fellow computer software developer Juanjo Tara, Lanhed has started the age of Bitcoin bio-payments. The video below shows Lanhed being the human guinea pig for the first verified Blockchain entry, literally by hand, using an NFC (Near Field Communication) scanner. They used a microchip developed by Dangerous Things, which stores 888 bytes of data, enough to hold up to 26 Bitcoin private keys. The two developed the software that takes the NFC scan and transmits it to their online bitcoin wallet portal, providing a quick confirmation.
“We are here to try to expand the frontiers of bio-functionality,” Tara reports to Vice’s Motherboard. “We started with bitcoins as a tribute of the revolution on the internet, and we believe in have the ownership of our data. Ultimately you will be able to connect you credit card to your implant and pay with that. But this terminal is probably a generic product that can be used in other situations as well. It doesn’t have to be payments, it can be reading medical journals or travel documents.”
In that vein, they have proven this is only the first step in their bio-ventures. They have made another video using this system where medical information is stored in the hand and transmitted to a smartphone for viewing by medical first responders. They will make their code open source, so that the online community can follow in their implanted footsteps.
While this is the first verified bio-payment using Bitcoin, it is not the first hand implant of private keys. Martijn Wismeijer, founder of the Bitcoin ATM company, Mr. Bitcoin made news about this time last year by getting not one, but two glass 2mm x 12mm chips implanted into each hand to store his bitcoins. There is no proof of him making payments with these chips, but he says the chips can be read by the latest Apple iPhone 6 and Samsung Galaxy S5 smartphones.
“I did it because I wanted to experiment with strong bitcoins using subdermal implants because that’s what I thought would be the Holy Grail of contactless payments,” he told the IBTimes.“I found you can use them for lots of different things, even as an alarm snooze button. To switch off my alarm I need to scan either one or two of the implants, so this way it takes a little bit of fiddling so you never oversleep again.”