Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
The Almighty Buck Patents

ATM For Anonymous Online Payments 254

Posted by simoniker
from the hopefully-no-camera-mounted-in-atm dept.
prichardson writes "The New York Times has an article about a way to anonymously transfer cash online (NYT registration required)." The inventor, Carl Amos, believes the target market for his newly-patented 'Aunty IM' ATM machine "..might be teenagers.. [who] do not usually have their own credit cards, they usually have cash and are more than willing to spend it to download music or games", as well as "those who were worried about identity theft on the Internet, or who simply wanted the privacy it provided."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

ATM For Anonymous Online Payments

Comments Filter:
  • Yay (Score:4, Insightful)

    by B3ryllium (571199) on Monday July 21, 2003 @05:35PM (#6494293) Homepage
    Now we can secretly fund the legal defense of mp3ers and linux users ...

    Power to the people! Vivé la transaction!
  • by L. VeGas (580015) on Monday July 21, 2003 @05:38PM (#6494321) Homepage Journal
    'nuff said
  • Too Much Freedom? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by 2starr (202647) on Monday July 21, 2003 @05:39PM (#6494323) Homepage
    Ok, I'm normally a big proponent of identity freedom on the internet, but I'm having a little trouble justifying this one. I think you need to be able to trace the money trail. I just think there are too many bad uses to justify the few good ones.

    Arguments?

  • What can it do? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Kotukunui (410332) on Monday July 21, 2003 @05:40PM (#6494345)
    If you pay cash for your (legitimate?) music/movie/pr0n download, does the machine have a CD/DVD burner and a disc pops out, or does it have to re-direct the download stream to an e-mail account (thereby identifying the user, damn!).

    Some more details on capability would be cool. Google here I come.
  • by isotope23 (210590) on Monday July 21, 2003 @05:40PM (#6494346) Homepage Journal
    I can see the US government blowing a gasket
    about quick and easy anonymous money transfer...

  • by Lord Kholdan (670731) on Monday July 21, 2003 @05:42PM (#6494364)
    Ok, I'm normally a big proponent of identity freedom on the internet, but I'm having a little trouble justifying this one. I think you need to be able to trace the money trail. I just think there are too many bad uses to justify the few good ones.

    How about the fact that it's no different from cash?
  • Funny (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) on Monday July 21, 2003 @05:42PM (#6494369)
    The New York Times has an article about a way to anonymously transfer cash online (NYT registration required)

    Why to I find this sentence funny ?

    So, finally banking can be anonymous (yeah right, in your wildest dreams [whitehouse.gov], but we still need to register with NYT?
    No wait, you can't do do banking with a hotmail account ...
  • by alen (225700) on Monday July 21, 2003 @05:43PM (#6494377)
    How does it perform identification to verify that the person picking up the money is the person you paid. I don't really see this serving any use since there already is a cash transfer system. It's called postal money orders.
  • sounds good (Score:3, Insightful)

    by alienhazard (660628) on Monday July 21, 2003 @05:44PM (#6494387)
    This sounds like a very good idea to me. Being one of those teens that has money, Its a pain to buy stuff online through my parents. Although I could also see this being used for bad, i.e. kids anonymously buying pr0n, alchohol, or other illegal/immoral things.
  • by alen (225700) on Monday July 21, 2003 @05:46PM (#6494407)
    The law is that if you transfer $10,000 or more to a financial institution it needs to be reported to the feds. Criminals will need to do a lot of micro transactions to pay their bills.
  • by 2starr (202647) on Monday July 21, 2003 @05:48PM (#6494424) Homepage
    Well, no, that's not true. Sure, I can hand cash to someone annoymously but I can't (easily) send cash to someone in -say- Afghanistan. I'm sure it's possible, but you'd really have to work at it.
  • by evilviper (135110) on Monday July 21, 2003 @05:50PM (#6494440) Journal
    I think you need to be able to trace the money trail.

    So you believe in no privacy at all? You believe that nobody should ever be allowed to pay cash at stores? If I go to a store and pay cash, where is the money trail?

    there are too many bad uses to justify the few good ones.

    Please name a few bad uses... The money isn't really anonymous, law enforcement can still trace your payment to a source and destination. I would assume that this guy will be smart and require the companies recieving the money to be authorized, just as credit card companies require...

  • by John Hurliman (152784) on Monday July 21, 2003 @05:51PM (#6494444) Homepage
    Cash sales generally happen in person. The main abuse I see with this system is black market money being moved around without a trail, but this isn't a whole lot different than Western Union.
  • by todu (560148) on Monday July 21, 2003 @06:02PM (#6494521) Homepage
    Hmm.. How very innovative of the inventor. So an "invention" as obvious as this may exist in Japan for 20 years, and still the US "inventor" gets a US patent? Did the PTO know this while issuing the patent? So prior art is only prior art if it is prior art inside the US?
  • by zoloto (586738) on Monday July 21, 2003 @06:03PM (#6494524)
    correct. and once some dumb criminal discovers he can use it to buy a gun (insert 1,000 $, get the card with amount on it, give to gun seller then go bang-bang) and then uses that gun to say... kill a high political figure (no insinuations there!!!) or popular person etc. BAM! instant ban or regulation.

    it's nice but this, I fear, will go the way of big hair and mullets... unless you live in the south.
  • by Vellmont (569020) on Monday July 21, 2003 @06:07PM (#6494549)
    Money laundering doesn't mean turning counterfeit money into real money, it means turning money earned through illegal activities into "legitimate" income. Like say you make money though selling millions of dollars worth of cocaine, you have to somehow hide the source of that income. You turn dirty money into clean money, thus the laundering part of money laundering.

    This system is simply a way of transfering cash online. I don't see how this would be usefull for money laundering.
  • No way in Hell (Score:2, Insightful)

    by felonious (636719) on Monday July 21, 2003 @06:16PM (#6494598) Journal
    With all of the anti-terrorism tasks in effect there is no way this will happen and/or last simply because it's an anonymous way to move funds. This goes directly against laws being implemented to stop all forms of money laundering, transfering funds with maximum anonimity, and fake store fronts of which to move the money through.

    There's so much more to this but the only way this idea would make it is for it to not be anon but that defeats the purpose right?
  • by L. VeGas (580015) on Monday July 21, 2003 @06:17PM (#6494604) Homepage Journal
    OK, I'll show a very concrete way this could be done. Create an online business that sells access to content, like porn. Or perhaps you could have an online casino. Or software. Anything.

    Now typically you would have records of credit card transactions, that could be traced back to the card's owner. With this system, you would have records of transactions that cannot be traced to anyone.

    You could then simply pump a buttload of cash into the system and report legitimate profits.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 21, 2003 @06:36PM (#6494718)
    You forgot this demographic:

    10% people who have had their credit trashed via identity theft and can no longer get even a debit card.... you know the same people who, as soon as they open weven savings bank account, get hit with legal garnishments by the government and collection agencies. Believe it or not, some people are *forced* to operate on a cash only basis and I'm not just talking about paycheck to paycheck, lower 10% of the economey types.

    Oh and this demo. as well:

    10% illegal aliens. You know... people without SSNs. Oh sure, you say "good thing"; they shouldn't be allowed to use the InterWeb in the USA if their "illegal", but when their cheap labor goes away, you bemoan the fact that all the jobs are going across the boarder/overseas.

    Basically, for every illegitimate excuse you can think of, I can think of 10 legitimate uses.
  • by forgetmenot (467513) <atsjewell@onebo x . c om> on Monday July 21, 2003 @06:38PM (#6494733) Homepage
    The slashdot blurb talks about anonymous payments... Lots of comments in this thread talk about anonymous payments whether how it would work or whether the gov't would cry foul, etc...

    A search on the article itself does NOT have the word "anonymous" anywhere in it.

    So... given that the article is very short on implementation details, how does one come to the conclusion there is anything anonymous about it? Because no credit card is involved? Not saying it isn't... but it just seems there's a big jump to conclusions.. unless I'm blind.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 21, 2003 @07:26PM (#6495013)
    when will you paranoid biased slashdotters stop posting blatantly false headlines. Anonymous money transfer? Yea fucking right, the bank will always know what you've purchased and I'm sure they'll dispense that info to any law enforcement officer that asks for it.
  • by alizard (107678) <alizard@ecis . c om> on Monday July 21, 2003 @08:56PM (#6495567) Homepage
    This requires that ATMs be retrofitted or custom-built to handle inputs of cash, and that banks be willing to handle cash transfers from individuals to individuals and be willing to accept a far lower ATM reliability level and increased service/maintenance costs at the same time. (i.e. if the cash ID/counting machinery is down, so's the machine)

    The potential profits are too low for the risks involved. Also, there are already ATMs that have been retrofitted to accept cash for the purpose of paying bills for defined (telco, utility) customers. Ever see one?

    There are cheaper and more cost-effective ways to do this than via ATM, I filed a provisional patent app for one years ago.

  • Anonymity (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Vegan Pagan (251984) <deanas@earthlCHICAGOink.net minus city> on Monday July 21, 2003 @10:03PM (#6495940)
    if the feds got involved, they could probaqbly find you (from the camera, etc).

    What's the penalty for wearing a mask in front of the camera?
  • Like phone cards (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 21, 2003 @10:48PM (#6496167)
    Just like phone cards, I want to go to a 7-11 and pay cash for a Visa or MasterCard card in $100, $250, or $500 denominations. What's so hard about that?
  • by ftobin (48814) * on Tuesday July 22, 2003 @03:25AM (#6497277) Homepage

    Everything is not about terrorism, but it's blazingly obvious to me that a machine that could transfer cash internationally, anonymously, and instantaneously would be a huge help to terrorists.

    This is an extremely poor argument. Your argument would apply the same if we did not have privacy laws, and all of a sudden people proposed having privacy. Using the same logic, because privacy laws helps the boogey-man terrorist immensely, we shouldn't implement them.

  • by Fooknut (73366) on Tuesday July 22, 2003 @09:40AM (#6498568)
    Paypal is not anonymous, so how does it compare to this?. Ahhh, it doesn't.

    It's not about reliable payment methods, it's about anonymous reliable payment methods.

"The only way for a reporter to look at a politician is down." -- H.L. Mencken

Working...