1993-10-17 - digital cash/legal tender

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To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Message Hash: ff3486cb2126832136c85fae2dcd21d1cb989974b5951c2e4daba23b1c70a237
Message ID: <931016215711.22e16048@CCSVAX.SFASU.EDU>
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UTC Datetime: 1993-10-17 02:57:19 UTC
Raw Date: Sat, 16 Oct 93 19:57:19 PDT

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Date: Sat, 16 Oct 93 19:57:19 PDT
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Subject: digital cash/legal tender
Message-ID: <931016215711.22e16048@CCSVAX.SFASU.EDU>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain

  Legal tender is a quality given by government to certain forms of
money such that a creditor who refuses to accept that money in payment
of a debt loses certain rights (e.g. to collect further interest.
In our system, federal reserve notes are legal tender,your personal
check is not.

  It is acceptability, not government edict wich makes something
money. (Note the development of NOW accounts, e.g.).

  Credit cards are not money.  When you use a credit card, you are
promising to pay in the future.  The merchant sells this promise to
the credit card issuer.

  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.  If Bob must deposit or validate the
money first in order to make sure Alice doesn't double spend it,
then it is no different from Alice having $200 in her checking
account and writing a $150 check to Bob and a $150 check to Carl.
The first one who gets it to her bank collects, the other one has
it bounced back.