Computers You Can Eat? They'll Be Here Soon

Michael Robinson

Friday, September 01, 2023

A while back, I was out to dinner with my wife when a man at a nearby table found a bug in his pasta.

He had ordered spaghetti and meatballs — not spaghetti and meatballs with a side of a long-expired fly — and was understandably livid. He screamed and hollered, and demanded to speak to the manager.

It was quite a scene, and a dining experience most of us aim to never have. The thing is, I just read something that almost made me lose my lunch...

News that, before long, we won't be eating bugs with our meals — we'll be eating tiny computers!

A Snack with Added Security

The idea of ingesting tiny computers may make your stomach turn. But stick with me, because there's an important reason behind this wild idea.

It revolves around the latest ways to prevent cyberattacks. Let me explain...

You see, when most people hear the phrase "cybersecurity," they picture rows of computers inside a big office, or software applications that keep your phone, laptop, and home internet secure.

But now, microscopic, edible computer chips — yes, edible — are being used in the fight against digital criminal activity. Here's how...

The Benefits of Edible Chips

As you might expect, the chips I'm talking about are small — a fraction of the size of a quarter, in fact. And again, they're completely safe to eat.

These chips are being put into various foods to better track their whereabouts and origins. Using blockchain technology, anyone scanning the "chipped" food can determine exactly when an item was made, who sold it, and confirm that it's the kind of food it's supposed to be.

It may seem trivial to track something like food. But keep in mind that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce estimates that fake goods cost the global economy $500 billion a year. And a sizeable chunk of that involves counterfeit food.

Take cheese, for example. No, not a bag of the pre-shredded stuff. I mean giant slabs of real cheese, like this one:

These blocks are expensive. This is high-end stuff. And because of premium pricing, it needs protection against counterfeits.

European cheese producers certainly have incentive to fight this type of fraud. According to Allied Market Research, the global cheese market is worth more than $15 billion.

To-date, edible chips have been tested in more than 100,000 wheels of Parmigiano-Reggiano over the past year. And each one has been required to stand up to the cheese's aging process.

Of course, tiny chips like these — edible or otherwise — can protect against much more than giant dairy products...

A Starring Role in Medical Technology

That's because plenty of other products and devices need fraud protection. That's especially true in the medical-technology sector.

Whether it's blood-sugar monitors, ventilators, pacemakers, or edible cameras for identifying gut issues, a counterfeit or hacked device could have deadly consequences.

That's why the Food and Drug Administration ("FDA") recently announced new guidance on cybersecurity for medical devices.

All companies applying for new medical-device clearances must have a plan to "monitor, identify, and address" any potential cybersecurity problems or vulnerabilities in their devices.

Furthermore, patches and updates must be made available in case problems arise. And every device must come with a full account of what kind of software is included. That way, no counterfeit or hacked programs can be easily run on the device.

Half of All Medical Devices are at Risk

These new guidelines came after last year's report from the FBI that revealed that 53% of medical devices have known, unfixed, critical cybersecurity vulnerabilities. In other words, more than half of all medical devices can be easily hacked — yikes.

Similar issues plague the auto industry. Because today's cars are essentially computers on wheels, there's been an uptick in cybersecurity technologies in an effort to combat counterfeiters trying to sell faulty or even pre-hacked parts.

Tiny chips inserted into car parts can help prove where they came from and who made them.

Our Investment Opportunity

Edible chips are part of the cybersecurity industry, which consulting firm McKinsey estimates at nearly $2 trillion worldwide.

Given that, by 2025, the annual damage from cyberattacks is projected to surpass $10 trillion, cybersecurity's huge value makes sense. The question is: How do we target this market as investors?

You might pick up shares of a well-known software company like IBM (IBM). And because the firm has been moving more deeply into cybersecurity and blockchain technology, it’s a move that might make sense.

But the push toward more cybersecurity is a megatrend. That’s why this sector will likely produce several huge winners as various technologies and solutions come to market.

Curious how you can target these potential winners with a single investment? Become a "Pro" subscriber to get all the details!



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Cheers and Good Investing,

Chief Investment Officer
Trend Trader Daily

Tags: cyber-attacks edible-chips