[Cryptography] Digital currencies

Jeff Burdges burdges at gnunet.org
Tue Jun 21 18:55:50 EDT 2016

On Tue, 2016-06-21 at 17:14 -0400, Benjamin Kreuter wrote:
> How do debit cards fit into this world view?  My statement is equally
> true for debit cards, 

At present, debit cards are handled through the credit card settlement
system.  I suppose they do not incur as much risk to issuers, although
probably customers can still contest charges, albeit with more
difficulty.  In any case, the credit card companies can still extract
huge rents from them though.

> Debt is a red herring here.  The issue is with processing transactions,
> regardless of what those transaction represent or how those
> transactions are organized.

I don't think so.  A system suitable for micro-transactions cannot be
based on debt because if settlements involve a human too frequently then
transaction fees become too large.  Of course, micro-transactions are
more impossible with Bitcoin because the settlement costs involve too
much computation. 

ACH and SWIFT are different.  If their fee structure is not suitable for
your definition of micro-transaction, than a third party can simply
aggregate them until they're cheap, which is what a Taler exchange/mint
should do.  At present, these aggregating third parties like paypal
extract credit card like rents, but that can change with competition.
And this aggregator likely makes them more user friendly too.

This suggests you might want free software that can be deployed as an
aggregator to foster competition.  If one is doing that, then one might
as well provide anonymity for customers with blind signed tokens.  And
one quickly noticed that blind signed tokens do not play nicely with
debt either.  :)


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