Dutch man sews Bitcoins into his hands, pays for surgery with high-five

This image was removed due to legal reasons.

Martin Wismeijer is putting his money where his mouth is — or, more precisely, his Bitcoins where his hands are.


Wismeijer, founder of MrBitcoin, a collective that works on installing Bitcoin ATMs across the Netherlands, has surgically implanted two near-field communication (NFC) microchips underneath the skin of his hands.

The implants, containing 888 bytes of data, were implanted in the fleshy web between his index finger and the thumb by a body modification artist. Each chip contain the private key to his Bitcoin wallet. A private key is a number that lets users access the cryptocurrency stored in a wallet. Without it, Bitcoins can't be spent.

Despite the potential medical risks, Wismeijer sees the value in the implants.

"By supporting these bio-hacking initiatives I believe we are paving the way for social acceptance, while at the same time we support the bio-hacking technology that drives it," he said.


The chip implants have other uses beyond storing Bitcoin account information. Wismeijer told the Telegraph that they also serve as an alarm clock that can only be switched off once he scans his arms against a sensor.

We're still a ways away from having subdermal embedded smartphones, but this is certainly a start.

Fidel Martinez is an editor at Fusion.net. He's also a Texas native and a lifelong El Tri fan.

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