digital cash

Sandy Sandfort sandfort at
Wed Mar 16 16:49:19 PST 1994


On Wed, 16 Mar 1994, Hal wrote:

> . . .
> If you want to invest in gold, you can go down to the coin store and buy
> some, right?  Or you can put your money into a gold-investing mutual fund
> and use it as a checking account.  If you want yen, or marks, you can invest
> in those.
> If the point is to do so secretly, why is it easier to mail your paycheck
> to the digicash bank in the Bahamas than to mail it to an existing bank
> there?
> . . . 
> If avoiding taxes is the major goal, my problem is that by far the bulk of
> my taxes are withheld from my paycheck.  I know, Sandy or Duncan said, "What?
> You still have a paycheck?" but let's face it, most people do.
Are you so sure about this?  Yes, most people receive some of their 
income in a paycheck.  Be advised, though, the underground economy is 
vigorous and robust.  Are their any mechanics out there who *don't*  do 
auto repair on the side?  Accountants?  Plumbers?  Programmers?  I also 
find it hard to believe most waiters and waitresses are reporting their 
tips.  I'm sure we could extend this list for hours.  Digital cash 
transactions could easily surpass above ground transfers.  Not everyone 
nor every dollar needs to go via digital channels to (a) make a digital 
bank successful or (b) put a major crimp in the ability to finance 
> It seems to me that the weak point in these bypass-the-government digicash
> schemes is the conversion between paper cash and digital cash.  That looks
> like the choke point where the government can still keep control.
Don't be so sure, Hal.  There are, and will be, plenty of financial 
transaction that will never, or rarely, need to convert to or from cash.  
When they do, well, that's what ATMs are for.
 S a n d y

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