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Re: Remailers and ecash

Robert A. Costner wrote:

> At first I thought some of the stuff Monty Cantsin was discussing was
> interesting, but it has gotten out of hand.  I've asked the question
> before, Why would remailer operators want to accept Ecash?  After seeing
> the conflicting messages coming from Mr. Catsin, I to rephrase it, why does
> *Mr Catsin* want remailer operators to use Ecash?

Cantsin feels that the remailers are too slow or too unreliable, and
believes that by offering a suitable financial reward, he can induce
someone to provide him with a more reliable service.  That may be so,
but this analysis neglects to account for a fundamental issue:

       Anonymity is one thing which you cannot have
       without also giving it to others.

In order for a remailer operator to afford himself the benefits of
anonymous communication by establishing and using a remailer, he must
allow others to use the remailer also.  This is why it is economical
(for some people) to operate free remailers.

It has been suggested that it would be possible to increase the number
of remailers by providing financial incentives to the remailer operators
in the form of a small fee per message relayed.  While that tactic might
achieve its stated purpose, it would simeultaneously reduce the number
of remailer users to those who were willing to pay the fee.  This
decrease in the number of users will serve to decrease the degree of
anonymity provided.  Consumers are unlikely to pay more money for a
service which provides less anonymity, thus making pay-per-message
remailers uneconomical.

That's the problem.  It has nothing to do with which payment system is
used.  The problem is the economics of the proposed pricing structure.

Monty Cantsin wrote:

> The ecash itself could come from a file of blocks of ASCII ecash made
> out to cash, which are automatically clipped by premail and then
> pasted into the message.  Easy, right?  Nobody even has to interact
> with the ecash application from the program.
> So where do these files full of blocks of ASCII ecash going to come
> from?  People with ecash accounts can generate them by hand or by
> having a program call the ecash software to generate them.  Then they
> can give or sell them to their less fortunate friends who don't have
> an ecash account.

If that's how you want to do it, then just have the remailer make up
some ASCII blocks that it will accept as payment, and sell them to
people who sell them to their friends.  In fact I think Karl Barrus
ran a remailer with this setup a few years ago.  The question is,
what's the point?