In a recent patent filing, Microsoft appears to have a plan to use human brain waves for cryptocurrency mining. The patent is titled “Cryptocurrency System Using Data on Body Activity.” Details of the patent indicate that Microsoft is working on a PoW algorithm that will use the body’s biometric data to facilitate cryptocurrency mining. Some of the biometric information the system would collect include blood flow, movement, and brain waves.
"Cryptocurrency System Using Data on Body Activity"
The system proposed by Microsoft in the patent would use sensors that will transmit various activities by a person to a server. To get biometric data from a person, the system would encourage uses to complete various activities. The activities would generate biometric data such as brain waves and body heat. Tasks that a person would have to perform would include viewing ads or performing certain tasks online. The data they generate would be used in the Proof of Work algorithm.
According to the patent filing, these activities would replace the huge amount of computation power required during normal cryptocurrency mining. The data that the body generates would replace this computation and would be used as proof of work. Users that sign up to the program would have their contribution rewarded in crypto once they complete a task.
Brain Wave Mining
The patent proposes the use of a set of sensors that would detect different brain waves. The brain waves they would target include beta and gamma waves, which are generated during logical thinking and learning. Additionally, the sensors would detect alpha waves, which are associated with subconscious activities.
The patent suggests that the work done by uses will be done unconsciously. It would suggest the focus would be on alpha waves. Consequently, those in the program would perform most of the proposed tasks subconsciously while they work on other things.
Will People Sign Up?
It all sounds quite advanced. However, people are always scared of new technology, especially when it would involve collecting so much of their personal data despite the promise of crypto rewards. It is especially so in an era where major tech companies have been accused of mishandling personal data. Additionally, it would most likely raise numerous legal and ethical issues before Microsoft could launch such a system.
However, it is worth noting that companies often file patents in the crypto space, which they do not end up using. For instance, Walmart and Facebook have filed patents related to the crypto space. Sometimes, these companies can take years before they use a patent they filed. However, having it in place eliminates any legal problems, in case they ever need to use it. For now, it is unlikely Microsoft will begin using brain waves to mine crypto in the next few months. Cryptocurrency mining using PoW algorithms will still take place using mining rigs and good old fashioned computing power. However, if something like this were to become a reality, it would be one of the largest movements ever in cryptocurrency mining.
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