Microsoft logoSource: Daniel Rubino/Windows Central

What you need to know

  • A patent from Microsoft about a cryptocurrency system has been spotted.
  • The patent discusses rewarding people's body activity and brainwaves with cryptocurrency.
  • One example of an activity that could earn cryptocurrency is looking at ads in real life.

A strange patent from Microsoft has been spotted by WindowsUnited that combines cryptocurrency and monitoring brain and body heat into a single idea. The idea behind the system is that it could mine cryptocurrency using people's activity rather than relying on PC power to mine crypto. The system would rely on sensors on a person's body to track their activity.

The patent is a bit odd in how it reads, and that's saying something given its subject matter, but an excerpt explains the core idea of the cryptocurrency system:

Some exemplary embodiments of the present disclosure may use human body activity associated with a task provided to a user as a solution to"mining" challenges in cryptocurrency systems. For example, a brain wave or body heat emitted from the user when the user performs the task provided by an information or service provider, such as viewing 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 a proof-of-work, and therefore, a user can solve the computationally difficult problem unconsciously. Accordingly, certain exemplary embodiments of the present disclosure may reduce computational energy for the mining process as well as make the mining process faster. (Emphasis added)

Based on this, the system would have sensors on a person's body that could monitor body activity and brain waves. These would then be used to "mine" cryptocurrency. The patent points out that this system would rely on people's actions rather than large amounts of computation from computers.

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The abstract of the patent describes it in more plain terms:

Human body activity associated with a task provided to a user may be used in a mining process of a cryptocurrency system. A server may provide a task to a device of a user which is communicatively coupled to the server. A sensor communicatively coupled to or comprised in the device of the user may sense body activity of the user. Body activity data may be generated based on the sensed body activity of the user. The cryptocurrency system communicatively coupled to the device of the user may verify if the body activity data satisfies one or more conditions set by the cryptocurrency system, and award cryptocurrency to the user whose body activity data is verified.

As with all patents, the ideas discussed might never see the light of day. Would you attach brain and body sensors to yourself to earn cryptocurrency? Let us know in the comments below.