1994-05-30 - IMP (was Re: ecash-info (fwd))

Header Data

From: rah@shipwright.com (Robert Hettinga)
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Message Hash: 9f2878ccbf5211d548b3e8bfa672734c531ffbfbc124ba732ee8436a7192752c
Message ID: <199405301945.PAA11305@zork.tiac.net>
Reply To: N/A
UTC Datetime: 1994-05-30 19:45:20 UTC
Raw Date: Mon, 30 May 94 12:45:20 PDT

Raw message

From: rah@shipwright.com (Robert Hettinga)
Date: Mon, 30 May 94 12:45:20 PDT
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Subject: IMP (was Re: ecash-info (fwd))
Message-ID: <199405301945.PAA11305@zork.tiac.net>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain

>Forwarded message:
>> From info@DigiCash.nl Mon May 30 05:44:18 1994
[snip. . .]

>>        http://digicash.support.nl
[snip. . .]

This, like CommerceNet(tm), seems to be pretty much under construction.
The store windows look nice, however...

>> David Chaum

On another point, I still think I'm subscribed to imp-interest, the
internet mercantile protocol list, though I haven't seen anything much come
out of there lately. It got Detweiler-infested and flamed over pretty badly
before it went moribund, but I think imp-interest died primarily because
implicit in it was a sort of top-down-plan idea that was incongruous with
the do-it-first ethic of the internet. Cypherpunks write code, or Chaum
does, anyway ;-).

At the risk of violating that canon, ( I couldn't code my way out of a
paper bag, even though I've designed an application or two) I'd like to
start a thread here.

Could we talk about IMP here?

Here's what I think:

1.) Chaum's e-cash coupled with WWW/Mosaic is a de facto internet
mercantile protocol.

2.) It seems to me that that e-cash, contrary to the status quo's thinking,
is *critical* to internet commerce. An anonymous cash market is most
unrestricted and efficient market there is, because privacy/security (more
than trust, I think) is the capstone of any serious transaction mechanism.
The imp-interest people seemed to be afraid of e-cash because the
Chaum-patent hairball reminded them too much of the RSA/PGP fight, and
probably because they didn't want to be associated with any wild-eyed
crypto-anarchists(tm).  (As a dyed-in-the-wool yellow-dog congenital
up-by-your-bootstraps crypto-fascist <gasp> republican, I haven't the
slightest idea what they're talking about. . .)

3.) Since a big pile of the discussion on this group lately has been about
our collective concerns about an RSA-approved version of PGP, I think there
is a real parallel here in e-cash.  Not that some enterprising cypherpunk
should immediately code up "e-cash for the masses"; that would be way cool
but probably not within the second-mortgages of the people here. However,
some effort should be made to get Chaum et. al. to see to logic of
distributing *both* the "cash-register" and the "wallet" of this e-cash
system to anyone who wants it. It seems that, like Mr. Bill (Gates), his
real market is the people who make e-cash ("banks", "currency exchanges",
"mints"), not the people who use it.

Just a second.  My flame-suit is around here somewhere... OK. Flame on.

Bob Hettinga

Robert Hettinga  (rah@shipwright.com) "There is no difference between someone
Shipwright Development Corporation     who eats too little and sees Heaven and
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