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Re: An article for Wired magazine


> First of all, digital money can take various forms.  Existence on a hard 
> drive is one of those forms.  But, it is also possible to have digital money 
> on a card-based platform. Mondex in the UK currently has official government 
> units of account digitally represented for their Mondex card trial in 
> Swindon.  They have also announced that in the future this card will hold up 
> to five "official" currencies.  Furthermore, they make no secret about the 
> fact that this digital money is ideally suited to transfer on the Net.  Visa 
> and Mastercard are both working on stored-value cards which will also 
> digitize official currencies.  CyberCash has also announced plans for an 
> electronic token which will most likely represent an official currency.  
> Others will announce soon.

I'd like to go on record as stating that all of these other systems pretty
much suck.  Mondex, for example, actually stores non-crypto messages of the
type "Hi there I represent one hundred Belgian crowns" in its cards, so if
you can hack the "front-door" security (possibly with physical hacking of the
card) and convince a Mondex card that your PC is another Mondex card you can
transfer infinite money to it.  (Well, I suppose you wouldn't be able to
transfer more than 2^64 units of currency or some such limit, but you get the

Contrast this with DigiCash's scheme in which each cyberbuck is
cryptographically unforgeable.

Most of the other companies have similarly weak security.  Many of them are
not offering any new technology at all, but are simply offering to transport
your credit card number for you, encrypted, over the net.

Furthermore none of DigiCash's competitors, as far as I have been able to
learn, offer any kind of anonymity the way DigiCash does.  The closest they
come is "confidentiality".  Yeah-- right.  I can get the same offer from the
Ministry of Truth.

Finally, be aware that e-cash can be put onto a smart card just as well as
on a magentic disk.  DigiCash is actually in the process of developing and/or 
marketing smart cards that hold such things as toll token for toll roads and
civic credits for coffee houses in Europe.  See their home page for more
detailed (and probably more accurate) info.

Source of facts behind these opinions:  Perusing the web pages of the

 DigiCash home page http://www.digicash.com/
 FIRST VIRTUAL Holdings Incorporated http://www.fv.com/
 Mondex Home Page http://www.mondex.com/mondex/home.htm
 CyberCash, Inc. Home Page http://www.cybercash.com/
 CommerceNet Home http://www.commerce.net/
 RSA Data Security, Inc.'s Home Page http://www.rsa.com/
 Net1 Home Page http://www.netchex.com/
 Electronic Commerce http://www.zurich.ibm.ch/Technology/Security/extern/ecommerce/
 The NetCheque(SM) system http://nii-server.isi.edu:80/info/NetCheque/
 NetMarket Homepage http://netmarket.com/nm/pages/home
 Downtown Anywhere - Front Street http://www.awa.com/
 Internet Shopping Network http://www.internet.net/
 Cash, Tokens, etc on NII http://www.cnri.reston.va.us:3000/XIWT/documents/dig_cash_doc/ToC.html
 NetBill Project Home Page http://www.ini.cmu.edu/netbill/
 NetMarket Homepage http://netmarket.com/nm/pages/home
 NexusBucks http://www.c2.org/nexbucks/
 Economics and the Internet http://gopher.econ.lsa.umich.edu/EconInternet.html
 Security First Network Bank, FSB http://www.sfnb.com/
 Commerce on the Internet http://home.netscape.com/newsref/std/credit.html
 A History of Money http://www.ex.ac.uk/~RDavies/arian/llyfr.html
 Wenbo Mao's Presentation http://www.hpl.hp.co.uk/projects/vishnu/main.html
 Internet Casinos http://www.casino.org/" ADD_DATE="801367759
 The E-cash Market http://www.c2.org/~mark/ecash/ecash.html


> Stand-by though:  governments and central banks will do everything in their
> power to discourage and prevent this for the power to issue and coin money is
> one of THE most cherished privileges of the Crown !

...and it seems like the first step that they are taking is sanctioning 
inferior, less secure, privacy-decreasing technologies over DigiCash's superior

And so it goes...

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