Some 50 people in the Netherlands have had a microchip implanted in their hands this year, piercing specialist Tom van Oudenaarden told broadcaster Nos on Tuesday.
Worldwide some 2,000 people have been ‘chipped’ and their number is growing. Oudennarden expects their number to grow considerably next year, particularly among what he calls ‘technerds’.
Martijn Wismeijer, who has had two chips in his hand for a couple of weeks, says the pain was over after a couple of days. ‘You can still feel them, but you forget they are there,’ he said.
He uses one chip as a savings account for bitcoins – which he says is the safest way to keep them. The chip on his other hand stores the passwords for 900 websites. ‘Many people use the same password for everything but I think that is a bad habit,’ he says.
People who have been chipped can unlock or lock their phones or make payments simply by scanning their hand.
However, VU University researcher Melanie Rieback says the chips are easy to hack and are difficult to secure. ‘The chips are cheap and don’t have much power so you use difficult encryption,’ she told Nos.