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Re: ecash remailer

Sameer and Hal both suggested ecash-laundering methods to provide 
payee anonymity using methods like this:
>Enterprising cypherpunk, Ed sets up the Ecash Remailer.
>Alice pays Bob e$15. Alice is anonymous.
>Bob sends Ed the e$15
>Ed cashes the e$ into his ecash mint account, withdraws e$13.50
>then pays Bob those e$14 .. Bob can now spend those e$ at will.
>	Bob is now anonymous.

As implemented here, Ed is strictly in the money-laundering businesss,
and can expect a visit from the Feds as soon as they can break through
the chain of digital mixes and crypto he uses to operate alt.money.laundry,
or follow the money when _he_ tries to deposit it.  On the other hand,
he could operate a strictly legitimate business, selling financial assets 
such as bearer bonds or low-commission lottery tickets, or converting
funds between different e-banks, or simply offering anonymous bank accounts
with currencies in multiple denominations - Bob can set up an account
with Ed's Eurocurrency Exchange in the name "Public Key nnnnn",
deposit his $15, and withdraw US$14.95 worth of Yen or Deutschmarks or

Aside from Bob's need to trust Ed, and his need to trust Alice not to
double-spend (since laundering used bills is much harder than laundering
marked bills) it first looked to me like Ed has a serious risk that he'd
be nabbed by the Feds as soon as he tried to spend the bills, so he has
to trust Bob not to be spending ransom money or pharmaceutical profits.

But as near as I can tell, _any_ merchant has that risk, because there's
no way for Ed to distinguish between cash that Bob withdrew himself
and cash that Bob got from someone else.  Does this mean that anybody
who sells goods to anonymous clients is automatically a money-launderer?
If so, either the bogus money-laundering laws have to go (yay!) 
or laws against selling to anonymous clients will get written (boo!) 
or selective enforcement and entrapment will become increasingly popular, 
leading merchants to refuse to do anonymous business just to defend themselves
against extortionists\\\\\\\\\\\\legitimate needs of law enforcement?
#                                       Thanks;  Bill
# Bill Stewart, Freelance Information Architect, [email protected]
# Phone +1-510-247-0664 Pager/Voicemail 1-408-787-1281