I Got the Mark of the Beast

Published on by Coindesk | Published on

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Bishop's right - at least anecdotally, that there's an overlap between the body hackers and the bitcoiners.

It's in the lightning torch, hopping all around the world, showing people the power of a stateless digital currency.

"We're all already attuned to this, we want freedom, we don't want to be told what we can and can't do with our bodies, what we can or can't put into our bodies, and people don't want to be told what they can and can't do with their money," Chad Creighton, a vice president at blockchain development consultancy BlockSaw, who was at BDYHAX, said.

Case in point, for some in the biohacking space, healthcare is too costly and big pharma, insurance providers, even doctors are working against the people, the individuals who need care.

"They have gotten so large and bureaucratic, it's sometimes more practical to go your own way and see what you can get done. Even more specifically, some people see certain regulations directly interfering with people's right to live."

"Right now, the idea or concept of body hacking is literally bleeding edge," said Amal Graafstra, the founder and CEO of VivoKey, the maker of the implant I got.

With implants, as with cryptocurrency, "The overlap is directly related to people's sense of adventure," he continued.

Case in point, Jerrah Cameron, a Denver-based programmer, who stumbled upon the body hacking scene only about a month ago and already has three implants - two small chips and this larger NFC chip, for which he had a gnarly one-inch slice on the side of his right hand.

For the novelty these devices provide so far - I currently have my chip programmed to take an NFC-enabled phone to my "Receive bitcoin" QR code, making it fast and easy for someone to send me a tip - most people won't want to get poked, he said.

That's why he's working on an application that would allow the chips to be used as payment mechanisms, housing first the tokens needed for apps like Apple Pay, Google Pay or Venmo, and then in the future even cryptocurrencies.