1993-08-20 - Crypto Protocols are Hard to Analyze

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From: Eric Hughes <hughes@soda.berkeley.edu>
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Message Hash: 0d8a044f99b09164611a2bb66253207ee39913bc8fd9eb145d1013d9a2715e15
Message ID: <9308201847.AA08308@soda.berkeley.edu>
Reply To: <9308190715.AA23256@netcom5.netcom.com>
UTC Datetime: 1993-08-20 18:51:06 UTC
Raw Date: Fri, 20 Aug 93 11:51:06 PDT

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From: Eric Hughes <hughes@soda.berkeley.edu>
Date: Fri, 20 Aug 93 11:51:06 PDT
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Subject: Crypto Protocols are Hard to Analyze
In-Reply-To: <9308190715.AA23256@netcom5.netcom.com>
Message-ID: <9308201847.AA08308@soda.berkeley.edu>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain

>Eric Hughes investigated digital money from a legal point of view [...]

Indeed.  It's a mess.

No matter how you do it, it seems, real corporations will have to be
involved, which means business plans, etc.  Not a low entry barrier,
unfortunately.  If you hold money for someone else, you'd better be a
corporation in order to limit liability.  And if you hold money for
someone else, you're either entirely within the regulated bank
environment or so close to its edge that your territory could be
included at any time.

It appears the easiest way to get digital money going is to be the
bank--a fully legitimate, above board, fully qualified financial
institution.  Fortunately, one doesn't have to be exactly a bank, in
the legal sense.  Other institutions are available, such as credit
unions, mutual savings banks, and S&L's--these are the so-called
thrift institutions.  These tend to have reduced regulatory burden in
exchange for limited power to transact.