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e$: Reuters Smells the Coffee

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Mime-Version: 1.0
Date: Sat, 12 Aug 1995 00:01:58
From: [email protected]
Sender: [email protected] () (from unknown.aol.com
To: [email protected]
Subject: Cyber Economy--Govts. Cannot Control

Thought Mr. Hettinga might particularly appreciate this perspective.

Jim Rapp
Alexandria, Virginia
"give me more info"

As always, do not send the copyright police after me.

LONDON - Growing business on the Internet computer network could
allow companies and individuals to avoid taxes and build up a black
economy increasingly out of range of government intervention and
regulation, computer experts say.

People will be able to download computer programs from
Philadelphia to Paris or buy books from Madrid in Manila, avoiding
export or import duties and sales taxes, as well as bypassing
government trade statistics.

"Electronic purses," loaded from banks down telephone lines,
could become the favored means of payment for fast, anonymous and
secure payments, with currencies of choice becoming more exotic,
depending on what is acceptable to dealmakers.

"Cyberdollars," expatriate U.S. currency zapping across telephone
lines between computers, could add to problems posed for authorities
by existing funds outside national borders.

Deals on the Internet are mainly completed by credit card at
present. But electronic purses could lead to a buildup of currency
beyond the control of governments and central banks, further limiting
their influence on economies and markets and making traditional
monetary tools like interest rates less effective.

"Online business will involve much more economic activity outside
the control and ambit of government," Madsen Pirie, director of the
Adam Smith Institute, a right-wing British think-tank, told Reuters.

"Government will have to limit its ambitions. Just like
governments in the modern world find it difficult to have exchange
control; they can't control billions of dollars of cash sloshing
around foreign exchange markets," he said.

Business is fairly modest now but will increase exponentially,
Pirie forecasts.

The U.S. Commerce Department has said electronic cash will
account for 20 percent of U.S. purchases by 2005, up from just over 4
percent last year and compared with just over 16 percent forecast by

Leaders of the information technology industry believe that the
embryonic stage is over and are wary of government action, which they
feel might inhibit growth.

Analysts reckon that any attempt to regulate cybermarkets is
likely to be futile.

The Adam Smith Institute's Pirie agrees, predicting: "Governments
will fail if they try to control this. They always have when they try
to hold back the way history is going."

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Copyright, Reuters America Inc. All rights reserved
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Robert Hettinga ([email protected])
Shipwright Development Corporation, 44 Farquhar Street, Boston, MA 02131
USA (617) 323-7923
"Reality is not optional." --Thomas Sowell
>>>>Phree Phil: Email: [email protected]  http://www.netresponse.com/zldf <<<<<