Exponential technologies are helping us realise the dream of being able to create money with our minds.


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Not much has happened in the payments space for a while now, that is unless you consider that cash has lost its crown as king of payments, and the development of new innovations such as pay with your face, virtual reality payments, and then of course pay with your time that Ikea recently unveiled.

But, compared with what Microsoft is now trying to pull in its latest payments patent all of those look tame because while all the other innovations in the financial services sector are to do with paying for things using new methods Microsoft’s latest patent it all about, literally, making money with your mind. Albeit Bitcoin cryptocurrency, but it’s still money you can, you know, go off and buy stuff with using your face …


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Instead of mining Bitcoin using computers, as is the normal way of doing things, Microsoft’s patent sets out an alternative option for mining cryptocurrency by instead using a “human body activity associated with a task” and “monitoring the outcome with biometric sensors.”

“For example, a brain wave or body heat emitted from the user when the user performs the task provided by an information service provider, such as viewing an advertisement or using certain internet services, can be used in the mining process,” the patent explains.


A diagrammatic overview of the patent


“Instead of massive computation work required by some conventional cryptocurrency systems, data generated based on the body activity of the user can be Proof of Work, and therefore, a user can solve the computationally difficult problem unconsciously.”

Yes guys and gals you have finally realised your dream of becoming your own ATM. And that’s nuts.

The mining system would involve hooking up a device to various sensors on the body that detect the activity required of the user to generate the cryptocurrency.


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Possible sensors used to track the activity include Brain Machine Interfaces (BMI), like all of these ones I’ve talked about previously, heart rate sensors, heat cameras, which I assume will be ubiquitous in a post Covid-19 world, infrared sensors, and even MRI machines – yes that’s right, earn money while you’re having your scan at the hospital. Obviously when we talk about sensors though Microsoft are trying to cover all the bases in its patent so it can reap future rewards and beat off future wannabe competitors.

And it gets even better still … beyond all these other activities that could be monitored include “body fluid flow” and “organ activity and movement.”

In all the patent lists 28 different concepts for the way the system could be used to mine cryptocurrency, including tasks like browsing social media, engaging with an Artificial Intelligence (AI) chat bots or visiting a website.

This all then leaves us with one question – who needs money trees any longer? RIP money trees you were great while you lasted but there’s a new game in town now.

About author

Matthew Griffin

Matthew Griffin, described as “The Adviser behind the Advisers” and a “Young Kurzweil,” is the founder and CEO of the World Futures Forum and the 311 Institute, a global Futures and Deep Futures consultancy working between the dates of 2020 to 2070, and is an award winning futurist, and author of “Codex of the Future” series. Regularly featured in the global media, including AP, BBC, Bloomberg, CNBC, Discovery, RT, Viacom, and WIRED, Matthew’s ability to identify, track, and explain the impacts of hundreds of revolutionary emerging technologies on global culture, industry and society, is unparalleled. Recognised for the past six years as one of the world’s foremost futurists, innovation and strategy experts Matthew is an international speaker who helps governments, investors, multi-nationals and regulators around the world envision, build and lead an inclusive, sustainable future. A rare talent Matthew’s recent work includes mentoring Lunar XPrize teams, re-envisioning global education and training with the G20, and helping the world’s largest organisations envision and ideate the future of their products and services, industries, and countries. Matthew's clients include three Prime Ministers and several governments, including the G7, Accenture, Aon, Bain & Co, BCG, Credit Suisse, Dell EMC, Dentons, Deloitte, E&Y, GEMS, Huawei, JPMorgan Chase, KPMG, Lego, McKinsey, PWC, Qualcomm, SAP, Samsung, Sopra Steria, T-Mobile, and many more.


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