Cyphernomicon Index
Cyphernomicon 12.7

Digital Cash and Net Commerce:
Uses for Digital Cash

   12.7.1. Uses for digital cash?
           - Privacy protection
           - Preventing tracking of movements, contacts, preferences
           + Illegal markets
             - gambling
             - bribes, payoffs
             - assassinations and other contract crimes
             - fencing, purchases of goods
           + Tax avoidance
             - income hiding
             - offshore funds transfers
             - illegal markets
           - Online services, games, etc.
           + Agoric markets, such as for allocation of computer
             - where programs, agents "pay" for services used, make
                "bids" for future services, collect "rent," etc.
           + Road tolls, parking fees, where unlinkablity is desired.
              This press release excerpt should give the flavor of
              intended uses for road tolls:
             - "The product was developed by DigiCash TM Corporation's
                wholly owned Dutch subsidiary, DigiCash TM BV. It is
                related to the firm's earlier released product for road
                pricing, which has been licensed to Amtech TM
                Corporation, of Dallas, Texas, worldwide leader in
                automatic road toll collection. This system allows
                privacy protected payments for road use at full highway
                speed from a smart card reader affixed to the inside of a
                vehicle. Also related is the approach of the EU supported
                CAFE project, of which Dr. Chaum is Chairman, which uses
                tamper-resistant chips inserted into electronic wallets."
                [DIGICASH PRESS RELEASE, "World's first electronic cash
                payment over computer networks," 1994-05-27]
   12.7.2. "What are some motivations for anonymous digital cash?"
           + Payments that are unlinkable to identity, especially for
              things like highway tolls, bridge tolls, etc.
             - where linkablity would imply position tracking
             - (Why not use coins? This idea is for "smart card"-type
                payment systems, involving wireless communication.
                Singapore planned (and perhaps has implemented) such a
                system, except there were no privacy considerations.)
           + Pay for things while using pseudonyms
             - no point in having a pseudonym if the payment system
                reveals one's identity
           + Tax avoidance
             - this is the one the digicash proponents don't like to
                talk about too loudly, but it's obviously a time-honored
                concern of all taxpayers
           + Because there is no compelling reason why money should be
              linked to personal identity
             - a general point, subsuming others

Next Page: 12.8 Other Digital Money Systems
Previous Page: 12.6 Online and Offline Clearing, Double Spending

By Tim May, see README

HTML by Jonathan Rochkind