1995-08-06 - Re: PC E-cash (NewsClip)

Header Data

From: turner@telecheck.com
To: Robert Hettinga <rah@shipwright.com>
Message Hash: db977268d4e03d030b5682e71b26dc1f44a3d7895478158844bb632b34883dd5
Message ID: <9508060639.AA11095@TeleCheck.com>
Reply To: <v02120d01ac481ff41b9f@[]>
UTC Datetime: 1995-08-06 06:41:42 UTC
Raw Date: Sat, 5 Aug 95 23:41:42 PDT

Raw message

From: turner@telecheck.com
Date: Sat, 5 Aug 95 23:41:42 PDT
To: Robert Hettinga <rah@shipwright.com>
Subject: Re: PC E-cash (NewsClip)
In-Reply-To: <v02120d01ac481ff41b9f@[]>
Message-ID: <9508060639.AA11095@TeleCheck.com>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain

> >Secret Service Says Student Used PC To Print Money
> etc.
> This reminds me of something which happened to me last week in a Burger King
> in Chelsea(MA), where the skipper now keeps the boat I grind winches on. I'm
> paying for my lunch and the cashier takes out a felt-tip pen and puts a 
> little mark on my $10 bill.  She tells me that if the pen-stroke turns yellow > instead of the black one she got with mine, the bill is counterfeit.  She 
> told me she got yellow mark on $10 bill once. Go figure.

I'm suprised that they check, since most counterfeiters don't usually do bills
less than $20, due to the costs associated with printing high quality 
counterfeited bills.

> So now, we have a working miniumum competitive cost of on-line digital cash
> verification. The amortized cost of the ink it takes to verify a piece of
> paper cash. What? 20 cents worth of ink? .002 cents?

I remember seeing a documentry film on counterfeiting money (don't remeber
the title, sorry), and a few Wall Street Journal articles on the subject.  
Some high points:

  1.  	The U.S. dollar costs more than a dollar to print up, not counting
 	distribution.  The paperstock is made out of cotton.. blaa, blaa..
	Several times Congressmen have proposed doing away with one dollar
	bills, and replacing them with coins.  A lot of political flack,
	saying that vending machine people want it so they can knock up the
	price of a Coke to $1.00. 
  2.   The same company that supplies the U.S. Treasury with paper stock for
	printing, also supplies France and a few other countries; other 
 	countries have elaborate watermarks and multiple colors to make 
	counterfeiting more difficult.  Holograms were tested with U.S. dollars,
	but failed the dreaded "crumple" test wherein a dollar is placed in a
	steel tube and squashed by a neumatic press.
  3. 	The U.S. currency is made of a very special color of ink.  They made
	the point that it is not green, and hard to duplicate (yeah...). 
	Secret Service was interviewed during the documentary.

  4.   The Central Intelligence Agency sometimes prints up foreign currency
	to devalue it; the Germans did the same thing in WWII and several
 	million dollars worth of English currency was found in a river 
	somewhere in Europe... (sorry if I'm vague..), near some mine shaft
	(open for public tours) where the Germans stored some stuff (art work?). 

On a related note, there is a company that makes a device which will verify
U.S. bills which is used in banks (mostly in the middle east).  CNN did a 
spot on this last year. 

> More fun with numbers, 
> Bob Hettinga
> P.S. We just put in 12 volt power for the Mac. I also bought an inverter. 
>      Banana daquiris on the hook. Raise the cocktail flag!

You sniffed the magic currency pen, in the interests of scientific discovery, 
right? :-)  

> -----------------
> Robert Hettinga (rah@shipwright.com)
> Shipwright Development Corporation, 44 Farquhar Street, Boston, MA 02131 USA (617) 323-7923 
> "Reality is not optional." --Thomas Sowell
> >>>>Phree Phil: Email: zldf@clark.net  http://www.netresponse.com/zldf <<<<<