Smart cards, One World Currency, and Armageddon

I mentioned to my almost-Fundamentalist coworker that I wanted Smart Cards to come into regular use. She mentioned that they are part of something to do with Armageddon and the end of the world or something (she reads Left Behind). By sheer willpower, I managed to keep from rolling my eyes, but I’m wondering where this belief comes from (I assume the Bible), and why in the world a smart card is different from the currency exchange? Isn’t the ability to exchange dollars to yen the same as having a single currency?

Several years ago it was the UPC barcode that was the signal that Amaggedon was upon us. The ‘end is neigh’ type fundies were predicting that the government was going to require all citizens to have a barcode tatooed on their hands, and this data would be used for ID, and using computers, it would replace cash for all transactions. The UPC code thus became the number of the beast, which was one of the signs of the Apocalypse. There were even some numerologists who could jiggle the numbers and extract 666 out of any UPC code. They’ve just updated their technology so that smart cards replace the UPC code as the number of the beast.

I think this is the part of the Bible that is being referred to:

It helps if you pay attention only to the part in bold, and ignore the rest of it. And here is the part that could be read as the end of the world:

This probably has something to do with the rites of non-Jewish cults at the time of the writing of Revelations.

Tattoos are in fact prohibited by Jewish law. The tattooed cannot for example be buried in Jewish cemeteries (I assume this does not apply to those involuntarily marked, ie Holocaust victims.)