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Caching Cash (ecash speed)

At 9:14 AM 11/9/95, Bill Stewart wrote:

>For penny-a-page on-line services, unless ecash transaction costs are
>cheap, it probably makes more sense for the service to sell its own tokens,
>bought with (anonymous or non-anonymous) ecash, which you then trade for pages.
>No calculation required, just an on-line lookup for double-spending
>and you don't get your page if you double-spend.  An alternative to them
>picking the token numbers is for you to give them the numbers and them
>to keep them in their database, but that's probably unlikely to be done
>and doesn't really buy you much privacy.
>If that's not anonymous enough for you (because your IP address could be
>traced when you buy the tokens, and coordinated with them later),
>use a packet laundry, or connect from your dialup access provider,
>which will tell the newspaper you're port43.server29.netcom.com or
>something equally uninformative; or dial in from the public library or cafe.

Tokens, coupons, gift certificates, etc., are all good examples of
_caching_. As, looked at in a certain way, ordinary folding or jangling
cash is an example of caching. (Yes, quibblers, it is true that we view
folding money as "real money," but really it's a series of claims against
some store of value, formerly gold and silver, and now...?)

Instead of constant interactions with a bank, we place money in "cash
memory" (I mean, "cache memory").

The concerns Hal raises about ecash speed are important. CPU speeds are not
the problem, network speeds are---many home and small business users have
very fast CPUs, able to funtion as Web servers all by themselves, but have
relatively slow network connections.

So, various schemes for reducing the network bottlenecks will be likely.

Tokens are a good example. And as Bill notes, token laundries can make them
_effectively_ untraceable, good enough for many of the low-value
transactions for which they are intended. (As usual, more security means
more computation, more delay, all other things being equal.
"TANSTAAFL"--There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch.)

--Tim May

Views here are not the views of my Internet Service Provider or Government.
Timothy C. May              | Crypto Anarchy: encryption, digital money,
[email protected]  408-728-0152 | anonymous networks, digital pseudonyms, zero
Corralitos, CA              | knowledge, reputations, information markets,
Higher Power: 2^756839      | black markets, collapse of governments.
"National borders are just speed bumps on the information superhighway."