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Re: e$: Come aaaannnndddd Get it!
Incidentally, I would like to apologize if I am going over (and not
contributing anything new to) discussion that has already taken place. If
anyone has or knows of an archive of the earlier list messages on the subject
(before I subscribed), I would like to read over them.
From: [email protected] at 16-NOV-1995 13:00:29.05:
At 12:18 PM 11/16/95, Robert Hettinga wrote:
>Ahhh. Next year in Jeresalem...
Although I am unfortunately not completely familiar with this phrase,
I believe that your meaning here may be that I may be too much of an idealist.
My position is that I will not use a digital cash system with the significant
deficits in privacy that the ecash system has. The only exception to this
stance would be if it becomes plain that it is the only alternative to a
credit card system.
Admittedly, as has been pointed out to me in private email, some
degree of increased privacy in the ecash system can be gotten via
changing currencies using ecash. An example would be dollars to yen
through one changer and back again through another. However, I will not
regard a digital cash system as truly good until it has the following
A. Private to any combination except all three of bank, sender, and
B. The bank does not know the amount transacted or owned, unless it
is the sender or receiver. (Obviously, it will know the total amount of
digital cash of its issuance in existence, and how much it has received from
or sent to each person, but it should not need to know anything more).
C. Double spending is detectable, but does not reveal the identity
of the individual. Thus, the bank does not need to know the identity of
the individual when issuing the digital cash.
The following are desirable but not strictly neccessary
A. Offline transactions are possible. To detect double spending, a
transaction with the bank will probably be necessary, but this should
ideally be postponable until the goods purchased are shipped.
B. Mathematical as opposed to computational authentication and
privacy. Since I am neither a mathematician nor a programmer, I am
uncertain about whether this last is possible. I have my doubts.
>Tell me, are you actually selling something on the net yet? How many
>customers do you have?
If A. such a system as the above were set up and B. I had available
any computer programs, etcetera necessary to use it, then I would at
least _try_ selling something on the net. This something would be not
data itself, but true information- data with interpretations. I am
qualified to produce such a service in some areas in biology and
medicine. I am currently in a Ph.D. program in Molecular Genetics and
Microbiology, and my chief area of interest is gene therapy- I have thus
learned some things about human physiology. Perhaps more importantly than
my own knowledge and experience, I know who to ask and have such
individuals available. Admittedly, I would have to fit it into the time
between exams, or more likely between semesters.
Bob, let me do a minor vent here.
You are critical of E. Allen Smith's viewpoint, and essentially question
whether he has anything to sell. Not much of an argument.
Thank you. (I would say "Thank you for your support," but my name is
neither Bartles (sp?) or James.)
Especially when folks are urging that "people put their money where their
mouth is" and get MTB accounts.
Me, I don't plan to sign up for various reasons:
1. I'm not selling anything, and won't sign up just for "moral support."
(I tried this once before, getting an AMIX account early on, and that
system offered more of a chance for a 2-way market. Still, a waste of my
I tried signing up for AMIX also, but unfortunately came in too late
(after it closed down). I might consider signing up for a system with the
characteristics described above for "moral support," but I will not do so
for a system that I hope is replaced by a better one.
2. I wish Mark Twain Bank well, but the success of the kinds of digital
cash we hope to see will not likely hinge on the success of one
particular operations, such as MTB.
3. The success of BankAmericard (later renamed Visa) came when real
customers and real shops started to use it, not when early pioneers set
themselves up as clearinghouses and whatnot.
Online commerce systems can be divided into four types, of
increasing level of desirability (and decreasing level of governmental
A. Credit-card based systems such as credit card number encryption
and First Virtual.
B. Partially privacy-protecting systems such as ecash.
C. Fully privacy-protecting systems with the characteristics
described above, based on a governmental currency.
D. Fully privacy-protecting systems with the characteristics
described above, based on a privately-produced currency and backed by the
I suspect that the first and second will have the most aboveground
chance of succeeding, given likely governmental interference in the third
and fourth; lack of public comprehension of all of the digital cash
systems and of privately-produced currency will impede some of them also.
However, the fourth may be a possibility for an "underground" currency
system, to be used among computer-literate individuals with an aversion
to government. I am currently creating an idea for a system of the fourth
type, and will put it on the exi-essay list when it is complete.
Incidentally, I suspect a privately-produced currency system may be
harder to regulate than a governmentally-produced currency system,
especially if the former is set up properly. I will explain further about
this idea in the aforementioned exi-essay system.
I have more interesting things to do, personally, than to be a pioneer so
I can then have nothing to sell, and little to buy....when "interesting
markets" start to appear, I'll look at it again.
In any case, I wish all the pioneers well, and am happy to see Lucky
I also agree in wishing the "pioneers" well. The ecash system is
definitely preferable to one based on means such as credit cards.