Billionaire inventor Elon Musk is known for leaving cryptic remarks on Twitter, and his latest tweet is already breaking the internet. It involves a reference to Neuralink, the AI neural interface company he works on when he’s not busy sending rockets to outer space or building electric cars. The tweet was short and sweet: “Neuralink progress update show & tell on October 31st (Halloween).” Immediately, people started speculating on what it could mean.
So here’s a purely speculative idea: Musk’s so-called “Halloween Surprise” will involve Bitcoin (BTC -0.58%). We all know that Musk is a Bitcoin enthusiast, and he has often discussed the possible use cases for Bitcoin. Some have even speculated that Musk himself is Satoshi Nakamoto, the mysterious and anonymous inventor of Bitcoin. And guess which date Satoshi Nakamoto released his famous Bitcoin white paper on? Oct. 31, 2008. That’s Halloween. Coincidence?
Cryptocurrencies and neurocurrencies
When Neuralink did a show and tell last year, it involved a chimp playing a video game with its brain. You can still watch the demo on YouTube, and it’s fascinating: A 9-year-old Macaque gets rewarded with a banana smoothie for playing Pong on a video monitor. The title of the video was simply “Monkey MindPong.” That naturally led to a whole series of memes involving monkeys trading Bitcoin, people sending Bitcoin to each other with their brains, and monkeys designing Bitcoin, all thanks to the Neuralink chip in their brains.
So what could Musk possibly do for an encore in 2022? One possibility involves so-called “neurocurrencies.” Once Neuralink is able to process your thoughts as a series of digital 1s and 0s, it is only a matter of time before people will be able to monetize, value, and trade those thoughts. Thought becomes a form of currency — a neurocurrency. What if Musk has found a way to do this and it involves Bitcoin? You know the old saying, “A penny for your thoughts”? In the future, the new saying might be, “A Bitcoin for your thoughts.”
New metaverse world powered by Bitcoin?
At the end of 2021, Musk did an interview in which he heavily discounted the current iteration of the metaverse. As he saw it, today’s metaverse is just a bunch of marketing jargon from companies. He discounted the idea of people strapping masks or headsets on and pretending they were in virtual worlds. Instead, he suggested, Neuralink would be the metaverse in the future. Once you have a digital chip in your brain, all action would take place inside our brains. Think about how we create imaginary characters and milieus in our minds every time we read a new book, or how vivid our dreams sometimes are.
So, if Neuralink eventually becomes the metaverse, it will need some form of digital currency as a way for people to exchange value. For example, if Neuralink ever enables the creation of an imaginary, digital metaverse world that looks like Mars, you would need some token to buy things in Musk’s imaginary Martian world. And why couldn’t that token be Bitcoin? Every metaverse needs a digital currency. Just think about all the most popular metaverse worlds. They all involve an in-game token that you use to purchase items in their metaverse worlds. What if Musk is developing some way for people to explore the metaverse in their own brains and then pay for items with Bitcoin?
Connecting all the dots
Whatever happens on Oct. 31, I won’t be surprised. Even if Musk announces that he’s really Satoshi Nakamoto after all these years, it wouldn’t blow my mind. The guy seems to be the brains behind every groundbreaking invention of the past decade, so why not Bitcoin as well? Remember, Musk got his start at PayPal, and one of his original intentions back then was to create a new type of digital currency. His Tesla car company was also one of the first publicly traded companies to invest in Bitcoin. Even to this day, he still gets asked whether he’s Satoshi Nakamoto.
So maybe the “Halloween Surprise” is a bit of a misdirection play by Musk, who’s a clever and witty guy. Some people think this surprise must somehow involve Halloween. They speculate that Neuralink will unveil some kind of zombie brain creation on Halloween night. Spooky!
But I’m going to suggest something even more outlandish, something even more out there: Musk will unveil some metaverse-like digital world happening entirely inside our brains that’s powered by Bitcoin. Remember what Musk told us last year: “The most entertaining outcome is the most likely.”