Commuters in Sweden believe that they are at the forefront of the future. They are willingly getting microchips implanted into their hands so that their commute is easier, but many say that what they are really implanting is the mark of the beast.
The progressive thinking commuters have futuristic microchip implants embedded into their hands to pay for their journey. In June, SJ Rail, the Swedish train operator, announced that around 100 people were using microchips to pay for their journey. But in a new interview with the BBC, it was revealed that an estimated 3,000 people now use the service. The train conductor can then simply read the chip with a smartphone to confirm the passenger has paid for their journey.
But the technology raises security and privacy issues, as the data generated could be used to track people. It also offers a spiritual dilemma for those who believe that these implants could be the Bible’s “mark of the beast.” According to Bible Hub, the passage in the Bible that talks about the mark of the beast is Revelation 13:17.
16And the second beast required all people small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their forehead, 17so that noone could buy or sell unless he had the mark — thename of the beast or the number of its name. 18Here is a call for wisdom: Let the one who has insight calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man, and that number is six hundred sixty-six.… –Bible Hub
But the microchip implants are not new in Sweden. An estimated 20,000 people already have them, using the small devices to swipe in and out of the office, and even pay for food. Speaking to the Sun Online, Stephen Ray, a press officer at SJ Rail, said that the idea was put forward by a technology start-up in Stockholm called Epicenter, where many of the staff are already implanted with microchips.
While this scheme is currently only available in Sweden, the country’s travel system uses the same Near Field Communication (NFC) as contactless bank cards, and London’s oyster cards, suggesting it could be used further afield one day. But the futuristic project has not been without its problems. Many, not necessarily those who are religious, have expressed a general concern over passenger privacy.
Peter Dahlqvist, Head of SJ Business Sales said, “SJ is already one of Sweden’s most digital companies, so this new project could be started up very quickly. The microchip ticket is a good example of how we are happy to try out new ideas alongside customers and help to force the pace of digital development.”