Implants containing electronic payment chips have become the latest fad in the Czech Republic, as a surge of people were recently reported having the chips placed under their skin.
The chips have been developed by a company called Paralelni Polis. They allow citizens to pay for goods and services, and withdraw electronic currency such as Bitcoins from ATMs, by simply waving their hand over a device.
The chip, a square just 12×12 mm in size, is implanted on the dorsum of the left hand between the thumb and the index finger.
It can be used for point-of-sale transactions as it replaces non-contact bank cards. For now, payments can only be made in Bitcoins.
The implant can also be used to unlock doors and unblock one’s mobile phone, Czech media reports.
— Miroslav Cvrček (@MiroslavCvrcek) February 6, 2016
Paralelni Polis representative Jan Hubik says that implanting the chip is not difficult at all.
“A person who decides to buy the implant receives a sterile package with a medical syringe that contains the chip,” he explained. “So the only thing that should be done is to disinfect the hand properly, open the package in a sterile room and inject the chip in one’s left hand.”
— Paralelní Polis (@Paralelni_polis) February 1, 2016
According to Hubik, the number of people who want to implant the chip is rapidly increasing.
“The first event was held at the end of January. The next implantation procedure was carried out in September. This time, twice as many people were interested in the product,” said Hubik.