Dutchman has bitcoin 'wallets' inserted in hands

November 12, 2014
The Bitcoin is a virtual currency that is usually used to pay for goods from a computer or mobile device

A Dutch bitcoin entrepreneur has had two microchips containing the virtual currency injected into his hands to help him make contactless payments.

The chips, enclosed in a 2mm by 12mm capsule of "biocompatible" glass, were injected by a professional using a special syringe.

They emit a tiny radio signal using Near Field Communication (NFC) and can store up to 888 bits of information each.

"We wanted to do this experiment to push further the concept of the ," Martijn Wismeijer, co-founder of MrBitcoin which installs bitcoin cash distributors, told AFP.

Using NFC, the chips can communicate with devices such as Android smartphones or tablets.

"What's stored on the microchips should be seen as a savings account," rather than a current account, Wismeijer said.

"The payment device remains the smartphone, but you transfer funds from the chips," said Wismeijer, who was injected with the chips along with a handful of other people on November 3.

His experiment has garnered so much publicity that he has temporarily withdrawn the money from his hands for security reasons.

"The aim wasn't for everyone to know about it," he said, laughing.

The chips are available on the Internet, sold with a syringe for $99 (around 80 euros) by the Dangerous Things company.

"It's really not recommended to do this yourself, you should find a specialist if you want to avoid infections," Wismeijer said.

Besides storing bitcoins, the chips can be programmed with a smartphone to do such things as open doors electronically or turn an alarm clock off if placed in a certain position.

Around 1,500 people around the world have already had such chips injected, Wismeijer said, but he did not know how many carried bitcoins.

Such experiments are important to make the technology acceptable to society, he said.

"Imagine having a tattoo that is normally invisible but turns red if you have a heart attack: you scan the tattoo with your smartphone and your doctor is immediately alerted."

Explore further: French police smash illegal Bitcoin trading ring

Related Stories

Google turning smartphones into wallets: source

May 25, 2011

Google on Thursday will launch a mobile payment platform that lets people use smartphones to pay at shops as easily as they use a credit card, according to a source familiar with the matter.

China Bitcoin exchange bans yuan deposits

December 18, 2013

The biggest Bitcoin exchange in China said Wednesday that it's no longer accepting yuan deposits, dealing another setback to the virtual currency.

Recommended for you

Balancing nuclear and renewable energy

April 25, 2018

Nuclear power plants typically run either at full capacity or not at all. Yet the plants have the technical ability to adjust to the changing demand for power and thus better accommodate sources of renewable energy such as ...

Researchers 3-D print electronics and cells directly on skin

April 25, 2018

In a groundbreaking new study, researchers at the University of Minnesota used a customized, low-cost 3D printer to print electronics on a real hand for the first time. The technology could be used by soldiers on the battlefield ...

Electrode shape improves neurostimulation for small targets

April 24, 2018

A cross-like shape helps the electrodes of implantable neurostimulation devices to deliver more charge to specific areas of the nervous system, possibly prolonging device life span, says research published in March in Scientific ...

China auto show highlights industry's electric ambitions

April 22, 2018

The biggest global auto show of the year showcases China's ambitions to become a leader in electric cars and the industry's multibillion-dollar scramble to roll out models that appeal to price-conscious but demanding Chinese ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.