1993-10-18 - Re: digital cash/legal tender

Header Data

From: rjc@gnu.ai.mit.edu (Ray)
To: pmetzger@lehman.com
Message Hash: 7b9131f19db19fda06e87e36b0140e08b2106221cbc9a736b1cde3a40b41ee45
Message ID: <9310180427.AA13871@geech.gnu.ai.mit.edu>
Reply To: <9310180406.AA28399@snark.lehman.com>
UTC Datetime: 1993-10-18 04:32:08 UTC
Raw Date: Sun, 17 Oct 93 21:32:08 PDT

Raw message

From: rjc@gnu.ai.mit.edu (Ray)
Date: Sun, 17 Oct 93 21:32:08 PDT
To: pmetzger@lehman.com
Subject: Re: digital cash/legal tender
In-Reply-To: <9310180406.AA28399@snark.lehman.com>
Message-ID: <9310180427.AA13871@geech.gnu.ai.mit.edu>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain

Perry E. Metzger () writes:
> F_GRIFFITH@ccsvax.sfasu.edu says:
> >   In order for electronic money to be true cash, it must be able to
> > circulate from Alice to Bob to Carl to Dave without the need to
> > contact the issuing bank.  Otherwise, it is merely an electronic
> > check, perhaps anonymous.
> No digicash system can possibly operate under this constraint. Mere
> numbers, unlike gold, can be duplicated. Without some sort of central
> verification involved the techniques cannot work. I suppose "true"
> digitcal cash by your definition is impossible.

   Doesn't Chaum's "observer" based system allow digi-coins to work?
(e.g. by carrying around copy protection which prevents you from 'cp'ing
cash instead of 'mv'ing it, or prevention of double spending?)

   Observer's may not be cypherpunk-correct technology but they might work
with legal (govt) backing. Counterfeiters who "copy" cash by breaking the
tamper-proof observers would be hunted down through traditional investigatory
means. The economy/banks might take a hit the way credit card companies
get hit by con-artists, but overall they would remain stable.

   Does anyone have a reference on Chaum's observers besides the SciAm
article (which I read a long time ago and have now forgotten)?


-- Ray Cromwell        |    Engineering is the implementation of science;    --
-- EE/Math Student     |       politics is the implementation of faith.      --
-- rjc@gnu.ai.mit.edu  |                         - Zetetic Commentaries      --