Electronic Money

Luis M. Huesch techtrak@midcoast.com.au
Sun, 6 Oct 1996 17:47:04 +1000

At 08:18 AM 5/10/96 PDT, you wrote:

>The other possibility is hawalla-styles, with digital coins being given to
>individuals, and email organised release of coins at a remote source.
>Any comments?
>Glenn Wahlert

I've not thought much about 'electronic money' so far but I believe your
above suggestion has merit. Perhaps one could incorporate an automatic
safeguard against one digital money token holder spending the same token
more than once. 

This requirement may not be too difficult to accommodate... A somewhat
analogous situation comes to mind: a number of years ago I invented and
provisionally-patented what I called the "incontrovertible parking meter",
designed to prevent people from hogging a scarce resource (e.g. by sending
out their office juniors at 2-hour intervals to feed the meters). 

This worked on the principle that the user had to key his/her car
registration into the meter before putting in as many coins as
desired/permissible. The rego would then be conspicuously displayed on the
meter. The same registration would not be accepted twice in a row. (If
someone just keyed in a spurious rego to feed in further monies, the
discrepancy between the displayed registration and the actual rego on the
parked vehicle would be noted by the patrolling parking staff, with the
usual consequences...)

Similarly, I can envisage a situation whereby I obtain a token from an
e-bank carrying a randomly-generated ID. From MY computer, I would be
prevented by the generally agreed trusted e-money accounting software (which
would also prevent me from copying the token in any form or shape)  from
spending the token with the inscribed random ID more than once. The same
situation would obtain anywhere along the chain my e-dollar travels...

This is just off the cuff, a similar strategy may already exist, in which
case pls excuse my ignorance.


Luis Huesch
Poet & Inventor