This week a video surfaced showcasing a man with a Bitcoin-NFC implant in his arm conducting a transaction. The scene was filmed at a place you may not have heard about. The Czech-based Paralelní Polis is a three-story house with an organized group who have founded their own Cryptoanarchy Institute and worker’s space. The Ztohoven art group has created the environment to bolster the ideas of free markets, privacy, decentralized currencies, and encryption. Paralelní Polis website states:
New technology brings the possibility of choice — we are in a time that is defined by the manifesto of cryptoanarchy. With a fast internet connection, reliable anonymity and decentralised currency, you preserve freedom which we have been losing as a society.
— Paralelní Polis
Paralelní Polis: An Institute of Anarchy
The Paralelní Polis group in the Czech Republic was named after a philosophy created by the political dissident Vaclav Benda and his involvement with the Charter 77 movement. In the space they occupy, the group has created a Bitcoin-only espresso bar that allows people to connect and discuss these kinds of crypto-anarchistic ideologies. The building also includes what’s called the Paper Hub, a place that enables people to connect and further their technical skills in a co-working atmosphere. The house allows workers to use the space to rent their own desks, hold meetings, have access to a Bitcoin ATM, and research together with a reliable internet connection and 3D printing workshop. Paralelní Polis is open to anyone in the Prague region to stop in and enjoy the atmosphere. The website reads:
Do you sympathize with Paralelni Polis?—The door is always open—You can either make an appointment with us or just come by and take a look around. And while you’re at it, you can spend the whole day here.
The three-story house of occupied activists and artists believe very much in the technology that may free our society. Crypto-anarchism has always been about the promotion of cryptographic software that enables privacy and political freedom from oppressive authorities.
Cypherpunks in the past like Timothy C. May gave these ideas life by spreading subject material like the Cyphernomicon, and the Crypto-Anarchist Manifesto. In the 1988 Manifesto May writes, “computer technology is on the verge of providing the ability for individuals and groups to communicate and interact with each other in a totally anonymous manner. Two persons may exchange messages, conduct business, and negotiate electronic contracts without ever knowing the True Name, or legal identity, of the other.” Many individuals and groups like Paralelní Polis continue the effort theorized by May and the cypherpunks by promoting the study and practice of this ideology.
The concept of a cryptocurrency implant is not a new idea for those who’ve studied cyberpunk and cryptoanarchy philosophies. In fact, the idea has been written in many books and some people believe that someday our lives will be connected with technology. The idea is that robotics and computers are infused with our biological environment evolving our human network. The man at Paralelní Polis is not the first person to incorporate a Bitcoin-related chip into their body. In 2014, a few online articles detailed the experience of Martijn Wismeijer, who also had an NFC Bitcoin-wallet placed into his skin. Wismeijer is the Dutch founder of a digital currency ATM firm and goes by the name Mr. Bitcoin. According to a report by IBTimes, Wismeijer has a 2mmx12mm glass chip that stores 888 bytes.
Paralelní Polis offers a unique look at how crypto-anarchy thought continues to infiltrate society. With these pioneers testing the concepts of implanted cryptographic devices, decentralized currency, and software that promotes freedom, the traditional ways of doing things will always be questioned. The video below shows the implant payment in action.
What do you think about cryptographic implants and crypto-anarchy? Let us know in the comments below!
Images courtesy of Paralelní Polis website