Microsoft and cryptocurrency have developed a strong relationship over the years, but its latest maneuver is likely to make many crypto fans raise their eyebrows in a state of confusion and concern.
Microsoft to Unveil New Mining Technology – Through Your Brain?
The computer and software giant has recently unveiled a new patent application for technology that’s in development. This technology is designed to monitor bodily functions – like your brain activity – to mine cryptocurrency.
How would something like that work? Does the product go into someone’s brain and mine crypto using their electrical neurons? Well, not exactly, but it does seem to read brain waves and extract new coins based on that person’s reactions and mental activity.
The patent application explains:
Brain waves 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… 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 (PoW), and therefore, a user can solve the computationally difficult problem unconsciously.
While it’s intriguing that the human body can basically be turned into an ANTminer through some extraordinary means, it’s also quite scary that Microsoft is looking to use people like pawns in extracting new coins.
The patent further discussed using “bodily fluid” and “organ activity” to monitor mining operations. Basically, it sounds like if someone is thinking about the extraction of new coins, this is what completes the mining operation. Not a machine, but human thought.
At the time of writing, the patent has been filed only, and has not actually been granted by the patent office. From here, one can only assume that this is because the application gives rise to many questions. For example, how will brain activity be tracked?
The patent suggests that simply reading advertisements or performing other basic online activities is enough to get things in gear, but how will this technology know that an advertisement is being read? A user could simply open an ad or similar page online and leave it open, but never actually read it.
If that’s the case, there are a lot of loopholes that the tool is going to need to fix before it’s ready to be put on the market.
This Raises a Lot of Questions
Microsoft has long been a developer and devoted advocate for crypto. For example, in late 2019, the company began working with Ethereum as a means of developing new digital assets for users to enjoy.
At the same time, the venture experienced a monster hack about a year ago that ultimately saw many crypto holders lose either all or part of their digital stashes.