1994-08-21 - Re: In Search of Genuine DigiCash

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From: rah@shipwright.com (Robert Hettinga)
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Message Hash: 9d9e969b6b00b31696b449112028d751e3a39f67f9ba07dfbaffddaae300e100
Message ID: <199408210219.WAA15561@zork.tiac.net>
Reply To: N/A
UTC Datetime: 1994-08-21 02:23:08 UTC
Raw Date: Sat, 20 Aug 94 19:23:08 PDT

Raw message

From: rah@shipwright.com (Robert Hettinga)
Date: Sat, 20 Aug 94 19:23:08 PDT
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Subject: Re: In Search of Genuine DigiCash
Message-ID: <199408210219.WAA15561@zork.tiac.net>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain

At  4:43 PM 8/19/94 -0700, Eric Hughes wrote:

>If there were already a fully identified digital money system,

Is there one?

>On the other hand, there is likely also a local maximum where the
>premium is fairly small.  In this case you get not only all the people
>above, but a large percentage of the people who are willing to pay
>just a little more for privacy.
>As to where these local maxima actually are, and which yields the
>larger profits, I have no idea.

It all boils down to Bedford Forrest's maxim "Get there first with the most
men."  (Sun Tsu said it first, but Forrest probably wouldn't have liked to
know that, I'm sure)

If in fact there is no method for making cash transactions on the internet,
particularly "off-line" transactions with no trusted third party in the
loop at transaction time, then digital cash is all we have.  Eric has
destroyed the point about the efficacy or need for off-line transactions
already, but to expand on his last sentence, there needs to be empirical
evidence to back up or refute his and my opposing claims.

>The costs associated with anonymous digital cash may well be less that
>for identified digital money systems.
[reasons elided]
>Digital cash, on the other hand, needs a redeemed note database, but
>this is one of its only unique costs.
>It is likely that digital cash is more efficient economically, since
>it unbundles a bunch of previously linked services and allows them to
>be purchased separately by those who actually need them.


Eric, for the last three months, you have said that there was no way to
prove whether digital cash was more cost effective than other forms of e$,
and thus potential efficiency was useless as an economic argument for its

Perry and have held that it must be, and you have just now given a bunch of
real good reasons.  Now we need to figure how to test all this out...

I love this place...

Bob Hettinga

Robert Hettinga  (rah@shipwright.com) "There is no difference between someone
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