Meet The First Person Who Has Hacked His Body To Make Digital Payments

This Swedish Man implanted a chip in his hand to make bitcoin payments

Patric Lanhed, a Swedish software developer at DigitasLBi in Malmö has implanted a chip in his hand that allows him to move money from from one bank account to the other or buy groceries by just waving his hand — literally.

According to the video posted by Lanhed on YouTube, it clearly shows how he taps a sensor to the Radio-Frequency Identification chip under his skin, which triggers the movement of transferring of one Euro from his bank into his Bitcoin wallet.

An embedded system engineer at Arduino, Juan José Tara Ortiz who developed the hardware for recording, writing and reading all the RFID info, told Mic, “We started with bio-payment because it’s interesting to people. But with this interface you can keep your bank account, your ID, your passport. … We wanted to create a full ecosystem.”

On questioned by Mic whether it would be possible for the hackers to steal the information in the chip, to which Ortiz replied that it would be difficult. “To steal the info on the chip, you need a reader really close to the hand, plus eventually there will be security software. If you think about a wallet, someone can steal that. But no one can steal your hand,” he said.

Lanhed wrote on Medium “One major part of this project has been to specify how to store different data on the chip. The aim is to have this accepted as a standard so we’ll be releasing this as open source.”

To transfer data, RFID chips use electromagnetic fields. Hence, the hardware, which is the implantable part, does not require to be much larger than a grain of rice. The cards, for example, used to get into some offices use RFID.

The video demonstration of Lanhed shows that he himself selects the amount of money to transfer. Then, like one would normally manually key in the bank account number on an Internet shopping site, he instead just presses the sensor to his hand for the bank account data he needs.

According to Lanhed, an RFID chip implant could be used to keep account details and important documentation on your person, like data authentication, passport, medical records, and travel documents for home and security systems.

It looks like very soon the trouble of remembering multiple documents to renew a driver’s license or swiping or manually entering credit card numbers may very well be a thing of the past. Further, anyone would be able to do it by themselves, as Lanhed has pledged to make the data open-source. Now, one just hopes that the grocery stores and DMVs catches up with the hardware.

“We aren’t going to have wallets full of pieces of plastic in 20 years,” Ortiz told Mic. “It’s the 21st century and we still carry wallets. That’s ridiculous.”

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