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Re: ecash Press Release

This will be the last I have to say on this matter (hear... hear...), not 
because it's an uninteresting matter but it has been (heavily) debated 
before and it's approaching weekend time in Norway :-)

On Fri, 27 May 1994, Perry E. Metzger wrote:

[Delete key used heavily...]

> Are checks legal tender? No. Technically, they are not. No one ever

I agree!!  That's why they require a clearing system (which cash 
doesen't).  A cheque has no intrinsic value (which cash have -- well, 
since the gouvernment says so).  A cheque has value only because it can 
be cashed.

> You mention that digital cash requires a clearing system. Thats
> true. Its also true that a champion marathon runner requires
> legs. Most people don't see fit to mention that -- it usually seems
> obvious. You say things like "without a clearing system digital cash
> is only a worthless token good for things like tolls". Thats untrue.
> Without a clearing system digital cash can't be used for ANYTHING.
> Without clearing, a bit of digital cash is just a number -- a large
> number with no more or less value than any one of the infinitely many
> other large numbers. A clearing system is INTEGRAL to digital cash. I
> can't just hand someone digital cash -- a clearing system has to be
> involved in all transactions.

Here I think we are nearing the real issue.  We agree that all electronic 
cash schemes require clearing, yes?  The problem is that many schemes are 
specified without this system which means that it can't be used in real 
life situations.  Just see (almost) any paper on digital cash.  This was my 
intended point when commenting on the original postings.  The DigiCash 
scheme probably is *great* but it won't be *usefull* by everybody in an open 
system before a clearing organization exists.  Due to gouvernment 
regulations etc a clearing system is not trivially implemented.  Since it 
wasn't explicitly mentioned (as a cooperation with a bank, VISA etc) I 
assume that it's (for the time) non existant which again means that it 
will take some time before this cash scheme is useable by the public at 

-- Rolf

Rolf Michelsen                           "Standards are wonderful --     
Email: [email protected]      everyone should have one"
Phone: +47 73 59 87 33                       -- Ancient FORTH proverb