An original approach for the formation of an exchange bias system is presented. Alternative to surface oxidation or deposition for the formation of Co/CoO bilayer exchange bias systems, implantation of oxygen ions into Co films is applied. The implantation results in the formation of CoxOy embedded in a Co matrix. Comparison with noble gas implantation unambiguously demonstrates that the observed exchange bias effect is induced by the implanted oxygen. Opposed to bilayers formed by surface oxidation, the implantation results in a different morphology of the interface between Co and CoxOy and also gives rise to a radically different magnetization reversal mechanism.