1994-08-28 - Re: e$: e-cash underwriting

Header Data

From: rah@shipwright.com (Robert Hettinga)
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Message Hash: eb728884fde2c3ba0c75ce73dd425e0b9a2737424c9fd637ad07751f603e6256
Message ID: <199408280514.BAA15326@zork.tiac.net>
Reply To: N/A
UTC Datetime: 1994-08-28 05:15:33 UTC
Raw Date: Sat, 27 Aug 94 22:15:33 PDT

Raw message

From: rah@shipwright.com (Robert Hettinga)
Date: Sat, 27 Aug 94 22:15:33 PDT
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Subject: Re: e$: e-cash underwriting
Message-ID: <199408280514.BAA15326@zork.tiac.net>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain

At 11:41 AM 8/27/94 -0700, Eric Hughes wrote:

>Why does everyone think that the law must immediately be invoked when
>double spending is detected?

It's obvious I gave that impression. I regret the error. Anybody who
bounces digital cash accidentally (in most accidental cases that I can
imagine) isn't to blame, especially if software is at fault. That's
equivalent (economically) to the bank thinking that a person's checking
account has less money in it than the depositor put there. It's safe to see
that an underwriter could make up losses if they're made in this fashion on
software they certify, for instance. However, there is a special case in
checking where someone thinks that they've the money, and they don't
really. There is probably an analog to this in a digital cash transaction
and I can't think of it at the moment.  The spender should be held liable
for something like that, at any rate.

If someone deliberately double (or million) spends, then they should get
busted for fraud. Period.  As protocols and software gets "burned in",
multiple spending should happen less and less, except when people do it in
purpose. When that happens, put 'em in the airlock. ;-).

>One solution is clear and direct: charge for each redemption attempt.
>In that situation, multiple attempts get rejected, and the issuer is
>recompensed for the attempt.  No morality need be invoked.

I agree. This solution is hard to remember in the heat of argument, but
it's quite simple.  I have argued elsewhere that there are all sorts of
ways to catch multiple spenders who do it on purpose, but if there's a way
to prevent it in the first place, in a financial manner, that's even
better.  I got sat on about this early on over on www-buyinfo, and my
response there was, catch them using plain old police work, and book them
for fraud.  There has been significant discussion here and there about the
use of governmental entities to enforce fraud laws when people get ripped
off in a double spending scam, but for the time being I still think that
this is the way to go.

>   Are there any non-proprietary, public sources of information on these legal
>   and regulatory research efforts?  Are there archives of the c'punks traffic
>   on this subject that I can look at?
>The research efforts are basically my own, Hal's, and Perry's.  There
>is no reference other than back traffic, which others can provide.

Cool. Is there anyone out there who has these "back issues"?


Bob Hettinga

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