Thursday, March 19, 2009

Introduction to Digital Cash

Extropy: Journal of Transhumanist Solutions published an article by Mark Grant, entitled "Introduction to Digital Cash", in its 2nd-3rd Quarter 1995 issue. The journal covers the full range of advanced, emerging, and future technologies, and their impact and implications for both the present and the future. Extropy emphasizes finding solutions to problems of the human condition, as well proactively considering potential unwanted side-effects of new technologies. Not all solutions will be fully formed, with some Extropy content aiming to form a clear understanding of the issues.

Early on, Mark Grant identified the impending struggle with law enforcement and national sovereignty over the issue of anonymous digital cash. Grant states:
"It seems likely that many governments will be reluctant to relax their banking regulations to allow the use of anonymous digital cash rather than credit cards and checks or fully tracked electronic payment systems. The primary reason for this is the supposed value of digital cash to the 'Four Horsemen of the Infocalypse': drug dealers, terrorists, money launderers and child pornographers. While it is true that there is some value to them, will banning the use of digital cash harm them more than legitimate users?"
Mark Grant has a Master's Degree in Physics from Oxford and he is the author of Privtool, a free PGP-aware mail program for Sun workstations.

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