Meow Meow Embeds Bitcoin Wallet In Own Paw
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A bulky wallet may be one of the smaller irritants in life that makes cryptocurrencies and mobile payment options attractive, but some people take the bulge in their jeans (and their personal security) seriously.
One man considers the social stigma of wallet-protrusion so heinous that he implemented an unusual solution: he decided to embed a chip with his travel card, and the key to a Bitcoin wallet, into his own hand.
Self-styled ‘biohacker’ Meow Ludo Disco Gamma Meow Meow soon ran afoul of the Opal metro card company in Sydney however – and they fined him AUS $1,220 and made him decativate it.
(Yes, his name really is Meow Ludo Disco Gamma Meow Meow, though he mostly goes by Meow Meow.)
Now Meow Meow is intent on fighting back, at least in the court of public opinion. However, he may not have very many legal options, considering that he did admit to modifying the card in a violation of the travel company’s terms of agreement.
Although some U.S. states attempt to foster innovation by passing “cryptocurrency friendly” laws, there are very few federal level guidelines regarding the use of cryptocurrencies, blockchain, and new technologies like Meow Meow’s chip. So he may have good reason to caterwaul when he says, “In this case, the law simply hasn’t caught up with today’s advanced technologies.”
Chips For Multiple Uses
This is not the only chip that Meow Meow uses. He has another chip that functions like a business card in his wrist, and a QR code with a Bitcoin address on his thumb. He envisions a world in which it will be considered normal for similar chips to act as passports, unlock car doors, and access one’s house (perhaps through some kind of ‘flap’).
It may be reasonable to assume that chips in the hand can act as a multipurpose, universal ID, perhaps powered by an app similar to Bitnation. Such chips could interact with blockchain apps that keep track of information – such as right of tenancy in a rental property, proof of identity for activities with eligibility requirements such as buying alcoholic beverages and voting, and easy payment systems of the sort that Meow Meow hoped to achieve by embedding his travel card information in his hand.
Meow Meow remarked, “Nobody argues if I was paying my travel fare or not. Nobody questions if I put my hand to the card reader or not. … Perhaps, in five years’ time, you won’t bother anyone making use of chips embedded in the hand.”
While his comments offer paws for thought, Meow Meow may be somewhat optimistic in how quickly society will accept having a universal ID chip in the hand that you can also use to pay for things. (Although Amazon is already testing a system in which users can simply scan an app on their phone at a grocery store, choose their groceries, and then leave.)
But widespread retail adoption of “alternative” payment options such as waving a hand in front of a scanner is likely to take longer due to the probable cost of integrating such a system, and estimates of how often it will be used. Some people in the Western world may also refuse to have a payment chip embedded into their hand on religious grounds because they interpret it as the prophesied “Mark of the Beast”, although they will increasingly be a minority in the few generations it will take for such a system to be considered normal.
While Meow Meow’s case may sound like a good one for respecting the terms of service of anything you sign up for, it’s also a good case for both governments and corporations to consider as they examine new technologies like microchips and cryptocurrencies.
There will be many organizations that are able and willing to step up to the plate if legacy regulators insist on getting into catfights to stop the rise of futuristic technologies like Meow Meow’s microchip.
So even though Meow Meow may just be kitten when he says he could help to call attention to outdated legal codes and corporate policies, his furry at being forced to give up his card may genuinely bring attention to new innovation and societal changes.
More power to you, Crypto Kitty.