Watch CBS News

Man becomes human Bitcoin wallet with chip implanted in hand

"Mr. Bitcoin" will never forget where he left his wallet. It's implanted under his skin.

The Amsterdam-based Bitcoin entrepreneur, whose real name Martijn Wismeijer, turned himself into a real-life cyborg by having a miniature digital communications chip implanted in his hand.

He posted a video of the procedure on YouTube:

Wismeijer and his compatriots got tiny NFC chips injected into their hands. NFC, which stands for near-field communications, is the same type of technology built into the Apple Pay digital payment system and numerous Android devices.

NFC is a short-range wireless system that allows devices to send data back and forth, enabling the user to make mobile payments or send commands to other smart devices.

The chip that "Mr. Bitcoin" used was developed by a company called Dangerous Things. According to the company's Indiegogo campaign, its inventor, Amal Graafstra, had the first model implanted into his own hand by a surgeon in 2005, and got a second upgraded model injected a couple of months later using a pet chip injector assembly. Wismeijer used the same type of injector to have the miniature device slipped under his skin.

Dangerous Things' implantable NFC chip in bioglass capsule. Dangerous Things

"The xNT [chip] is a 2mm x 12mm, fully NFC Type 2 compliant RFID tag encased in a cylindrical Schott 8625 bioglass ampule and sterilized in ethylene oxide gas," according to the Dangerous Things Indiegogo page.

"It is compatible with all NFC compliant devices such as mobile phones, tablets, etc. and can be used to launch URLs, share contact details, unlock phones, etc." It says the chip "can also be used with several types of commercial readers to unlock doors, start cars, log into computers."

The chip - minus the bioglass capsule encasing it - is similar to what Americans are beginning to see embedded into their credit cards and mobile phones, including the Apple iPhone 6.

Wismeijer and friends had the chips implanted at a biohacking event in an old toothpaste factory.

Wismeijer told International Business Times UK "Most doctors will not want to install the implant so a body manipulation artist (preferably not just tattoo artist or piercer) will be your next best bet, but make sure they work according to strict hygiene codes and know what they are doing."

What did he want it for? "I did it because I wanted to experiment with storing Bitcoins using subdermal implants," he said. "I thought [it] would like be the Holy Grail of contactless payments."

According to IBT, he also found it useful for opening doors and hitting the snooze bar on his alarm.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.