Digital cash issues...

FutureNerd Steve Witham fnerd at
Wed May 26 13:47:03 PDT 1993

>    Regarding the issue of what to do under Chaum's scheme when someone double-
> spends a piece of digital cash & their identity is revealed... I don't think 
> it's going to be a serious hindrance in the long term.  ...  Any credit card
> company, phone company, or other corporation that does a lot of billing
> already has staff dedicated solely to that function, with collection agencies
> providing a second tier of functionality for the tougher cases.
>            Dr. Cat / Dragon's Eye / New traditions for the next century
Yes, but we would like to steer towards a world where no one you do business 
with knows or can reconstruct who you are or where you live.  "Collection"--
the whole idea of "billing," in fact--is a way of doing business that's rooted 
in non-privacy.  But also it's based on wanting to make transactions easier
for people in a world without easy electronic transactions, accounting, 
budgeting, negotiation, reputations, etc.  So maybe with these sorts of things,
billing would be unnecessary.

Anyway, thinking up variations on offline payment systems is a passtime of 
mine.  Situations where people can't be online with the bank are special 
cases, so you can make up special-case solutions, like

  o  "Tokens" or gift certificates that you buy in advance, or
  o  Annonymous checks that expire and are refundable if the (specific,
     annonymous) payees don't cash them in a certain amount of time.

Credit as it exists often seems like a trade with the devil of privacy
invasion.  Jeez, what would the world be like without *credit cards* and
*junk mail*!?


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