Bitcoin Gets Under Your Skin

Martijn Wismeijer, also known as “Mr Bitcoin,” has developed a new place to store your digital currency: under your skin. The bitcoin entrepreneur had two near-field communication chips injected into the back of his hands last week. He reported to CoinDesk that the chips can store litecoin, bitcoin, darkcoin and dogecoin which can hold up to 888 bytes of data each.

These devices will not be used for a long-term storage of cryptocurrency because of the media coverage he received that compromises security. However, Wismeijer emphasized that these chips are a good option for people who are more “camera-shy.”

If you are a bit more discreet about your implant, nobody will ever know it’s there. Apparently the chips don’t show up in a full-body scanner at airports … totally secret agent style, available to consumers everywhere.”

Wismeijer went from mining bitcoins to running an ATM collective which helps with just about everything related to currencies, including repairs. The device Mr. Wismeijer is testing has not yet been approved for use in humans but it is already being sold on DangerousThings for $99. Additionally, Tom van Oudenaarden is currently the only known technician in Netherlands who can make the installation. Wismeijer warns potential users that it may be dangerous to use the chip before your hands have healed and swelling has gone down due to possible infections. Users should wait at least a day before they start programming the chip.

Don’t be like me, I wanted to try it out even before the blood dried up … everyone wants to try it out right away but in case of the implant really you should leave it alone until it is no longer swollen and healed.”

The implant itself is a tiny capsule (2x12mm) that contains an RFID tag originally used for tracking pets and retail products. The device has no battery and receives data from smart devices (Android only). The 888 bytes of data are equal to 888 characters of text which means that the chip can store about 26 mini private keys. Each chip can store data for up to 10 years and must then be rewritten to avoid data loss. Yet more upgrades for this invention are on the horizon.

I met with Amal Graafstra, the engineer behind this biohacking implant and he is working on exciting new models with more memory but these will be larger and more difficult to install as they will probably have to be unfolded under the skin as opposed to just be injected,” he said.

New uses for the device are constantly being discovered as well. For instance, Wismeijer is planning to test the chip on door locks and alarm clock switches.

Read more here – “Meet the Tiny Bitcoin Wallet that Lives Under Your Skin,” (Grace Caffyn, Coindesk).


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Anna is a current student at The George Washington University in Washington, DC with a concentration in Marketing and Communication. She specializes in social media outreach and has experience working in government contracting.


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