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Canadian Mint To Create Digital Currency 298

Posted by samzenpus
from the no-coins-for-you dept.
Oldcynic writes "The Canadian mint has allowed 500 developers to enter a contest to create a new digital currency. The currency would allow micro payments using electronic devices. From the article: 'Less than a week after the government announced the penny’s impending death, the Mint quietly unveiled its digital currency called MintChip. Still in the research and development phase, MintChip will ultimately let people pay each other directly using smartphones, USB sticks, computers, tablets and clouds. The digital currency will be anonymous and good for small transactions — just like cash, the Mint says. To make sure its technology meets the gold standard in a world where digital transactions are gaining steam, the Mint is holding a contest for software developers to create applications using the MintChip.'" It looks like the Canadian Mint might have a bit of Sweden envy.
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Canadian Mint To Create Digital Currency

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  • by Megane (129182) on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @08:21PM (#39652523) Homepage
    They should call it the BitLoon.
    • I was thinking the 'Aboot-eh'.
      • Re:A better name (Score:5, Insightful)

        by pnewhook (788591) on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @09:32PM (#39653153)
        ok, seriously. Where did the aboot thing come from cause no one here pronounces about like that.
        • by belg4mit (152620)

          It seems to be a distortion of the actual distortion the word undergoes in many Canadian mouths, which is akin to "aboat" but not quit such a long-o.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Kielistic (1273232)
          Some french-canadians pronounce it very "aboot" like. But I doubt you would hear it outside of highly francophone areas.
          • by pnewhook (788591)
            Ok, thats the first explanation that has made any sense. Thanks! Americans confusing a french accent with 'geez that must be how Canadians speak english!'. lol
            • by Dr. Spork (142693)
              I don't think that's right. In Nova Scotia and in places like London, Ontario, people speak very strongly in that way and many of them don't know any French. I thought it had to do with the fact that so many of the original Canadians were Scots, and in Scotland they also say "a-BOOt" and "a-GAIN-st".
              • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

                by Cmdrm (1683042)
                Nova Scotia, you mean near where the french colonized what would become Canada? Where people still speak Acadian French... yeah, no french history there.
                • Yeah, Nova Scotia, good name for a French colony. That's French for what exactly?
                  • by VVrath (542962)

                    It's not French for anything - Nova Scotia is Latin.

                    The French call it Nouvelle-Écosse, meaning New Scotland.

              • Re:A better name (Score:4, Interesting)

                by Cruciform (42896) on Thursday April 12, 2012 @08:59AM (#39657091) Homepage

                I lived in London for 15 years and never heard anyone speak in a way that was reminiscent of "aboot".
                I'm on PEI now, where I grew up, and you'll find that in the fishing villages that were originally french there's people who say "dis, dat, dese, and dose" for "this, that, these, and those" and some other humorous applications, as artifacts of their ancestors pronunciation of 'th' and other letter combinations.
                Most people I know pronounce 'about' with the latter syllable sounding like a 'bout' of boxing.
                In the game studio I worked at we had people from all over the world, and it was noticeable in at least one American that they pronounced 'about' with an extra beat in the 'ow' part. So a two syllable word sounded like it had three syllables. Kind of a reverse of the Japanese tendency to remove syllables from pronunciation in common speech. (The name Asuka for example, which we'd hear as Oska)
                Meanwhile If I talk to someone from the southern US, they think I have a funny accent. If I talk to someone from the west coast or someone that speaks with the common 'broadcast' dialect (notice that most major anchorpeople have a "neutral" accent) we can't immediately identify the area the other is from.
                But there's also just as much dialect variety here as the US. Just like "Bawston" and "Bal'more", or down in "Noble's Holler" (Yay, Justified). Probably not as much as Scotland though. :) I've read that in Scotland the separation of villages by as little at 10 miles could have villages barely able to understand each other in the "old days".
                Language is neat!

        • Re:A better name (Score:4, Informative)

          by Toze (1668155) on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @10:48PM (#39653693)
          The Canadian ear doesn't hear it. To the American ear, we evidently pronounce it more like "oot" than "owt," which is what they consider normative. or something. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/West/Central_Canadian_English [wikipedia.org]
          • Canadian Rising is the cause. Its a linguistic distinction in much of English Canada (and some parts of the northern US) which alters the pronunciation of a few vowels combinations, essentially shortening the time it takes to make them. Most US English speakers do not make the distinction, and thus hear the sound differently, mistaking /au/ for /u/.
            Its laughable to Canadians who can hear the distinction because the Americans seem clueless for not being able to hear it, but its just a matter of dialect. Most

        • Almost all of you say it, to some degree or another. It's just an accent, so you don't hear it. I guess our version of "about" sounds weird to you in some way?

          • That's the really strange part, unless you go south of Oregon, Americans don't sound very different to us Canadians. Then again, I live on the west coast, so there is a less french influence over here...
        • Where are you from? When I visited out in Halifax I didn't notice it as much as when I visited northern Minnesota / Wisconsin. I'm going to guess that central canada has it a bit heavier than where ever you are from.

    • Re:A better name (Score:4, Insightful)

      by MachDelta (704883) on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @08:27PM (#39652605)

      Loonie -> Toonie -> MintChip?

      Clearly, the name should be "Moonie"

      Then we can all sound like four-year-olds when we talk about "how much Moonies" a double-double costs.

    • by NoobixCube (1133473) on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @09:14PM (#39653011) Journal

      You don't want to be a pirate with your DibLoons? Digital Loonies for all! Yarr!

    • canadigit.

  • So it's like bitcoin eh?
    • by vux984 (928602) on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @08:26PM (#39652579)

      "And unlike BitCoin, a peer-to-peer hosted digital currency with a fluctuating value, MintChip is simply a new way to exchange Canadian dollars. Plus, itâ(TM)s backed by the Canadian government. "

    • by 1s44c (552956)

      So it's like bitcoin eh?

      If a government is creating it you should expect strong central control along with the ability for them to revoke and create money at will and some form of tax system built right in.

      It's going to be a sick. sick parady of BitCoin, basicly SolidCoin.

  • "The digital currency will be anonymous..."

    What a depressingly boring example of the One Big Lie technique. Don't they know they're supposed to blame a minority for something?
    • Re:My Ass (Score:4, Interesting)

      by rtb61 (674572) on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @08:38PM (#39652687) Homepage

      Even more amusing would be digital currency tripping over a patent or two, only to discover a few years down the track, Canada locked into making patent payments for 10% or more of the electronic currency they are trading.

      • by vux984 (928602)

        I assume there are patents covering most of the modern anti counterfeiting techniques that are in use along with the counterfeit detection techniques...

        • by pnewhook (788591)
          Why would you assume that? Since governments print the money and different governments share techniques on how to make it counterfeit proof, it would just be a trade secret. There's no point in making a patent on it.
          • by dryeo (100693)

            They disclose many of the anti-counterfeiting techniques, especially the obvious ones like the new hundred I just got. Hard to hide that it is plastic, has holograms and even a transparent window on it. The idea is as much to discourage people from even trying to counterfeit as well as catching them.

          • Re:My Ass (Score:4, Informative)

            by Chuck Chunder (21021) on Thursday April 12, 2012 @12:30AM (#39654167) Homepage Journal

            Why would you assume that? Since governments print the money and different governments share techniques on how to make it counterfeit proof, it would just be a trade secret. There's no point in making a patent on it.

            Of course there is, just because you are are printing money doesn't mean you don't want to make money. Securency (involved in producing a lot of modern polymer notes [securency.com.au]) certainly hold patents on techniques they use.

      • by Ihmhi (1206036)

        How would you even collect royalties on something like that? Every time a digital "coin" is produced, every transaction, or something else?

        • In my personal experience of royalty claims... the claimant will want to be paid for any conceivable use of the "technology" even if it really has nothing to do with them. Create a unit, pay them. Transfer the unit, pay them. Bank the unit, pay them. Collect interest on the banked unit, pay them. Convert the unit into "real" money, pay them. Produce any sort of system that can be used to handle the units, pay them. Do the same thing on a mobile, pay them. ... or a social network etc. There's no com

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Canada doesn't have software/algorithm patents. Sorry.

  • by cpu6502 (1960974) on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @08:33PM (#39652641)

    Digital currency just means the Central bank can wipe-out our savings more efficiently (by devaluing the dollar). You work and scrimp to save a million dollars for retirement. But by the time you're an old man, its purchasing power will be diminished to just 100,000 thanks to the actions of the rich bankers,

    We're heading in the wrong direction. We should be looking for a STABLE currency that can not be devalued.

    • by Hamsterdan (815291) on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @08:39PM (#39652701)

      Something like Canadian Tire money?

    • by green1 (322787) on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @08:42PM (#39652723)

      I think this is 2 completely unrelated problems. What this article is talking about is a way to exchange Canadian Dollars with people without physically carrying and handing them paper bills or metal coins. The currency itself isn't changing, just the method of transfering it.

      As for devaluation. This is actually a touchy subject, in some ways currency needs to devalue, doing so stops people from sitting on vast piles of it and keeps them spending it which keeps the economy going, which generates jobs, and allows more people to spend money. Of course it also needs not to devaluate too quickly for the reason you list in that you have to be able to save for future big purchases, and be able to save money for retirement. Balancing the 2 is very tricky, but also completely unrelated to this particular initiative.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @09:30PM (#39653133)

        Currency does not need to be devalued, devaluation is theft. Hoarding is a false argument made by people who confuse money with wealth. Balancing the flow of wealth (ie: money) is indeed very tricky, so tricky in fact that it cannot be planned by a central authority using fanciful economic models but should rather be left to free markets. So fuck off "independent" central banks with your fractional reserve bullshit, the power to create money belongs only to the people.

        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by Anonymous Coward

          I would like every libertarian to conduct the following thought experiment:

          What happens if one king owns all the gold?

          I don't know what will happen when a libertarian conducts this experiment. I just know what happened when I conducted it. First, I realized that gold would have no use as currency in such a situation. All the other people in the kingdom would use silver. If the king owned all the silver, they would keep finding subsitutes in turn until they had something that circulated in reasonable amm

          • So, basically you are saying government (aka "the King") can distort economies. Surprise, surprise!

            That said, gold does have a tangible value, in that it represents X amount of labor to move Y tons of raw ore + Z amount of energy to refine it to a known amount of bullion, coin, ring, chain or what-have-you. In contrast to a printed banknote, of any denomination, that currently has only the tiniest of a fraction of worth compared to the "gold standard".

            It may only be a coincidence, but the comparison o
            • I don't know that the work required to retrieve it is what gives gold an intrinsic value. Its intrinsic value is in its uses. Its properties as a metal. Anything more than that is circular. It has value because it takes effort to retrieve it and we retrieve it because it has value. I've always thought a currency backed by units of energy would be interesting. Since we've industrialized it arguably has the most intrinsic value to society.
          • The main difference in the real world is that there are as many US dollars as there are numbers. You're comparing a finite resource with an infinite tool.
          • by xmark (177899) on Thursday April 12, 2012 @12:29AM (#39654161)

            Followed quickly by a headless king.

            This does not require an elaborate analysis, only a cursory reading of history.

      • by jthill (303417)

        doing so stops people from sitting on vast piles of it and keeps them spending it which keeps the economy going, which generates jobs

        Shhhhhh. Do you want people to figure out who the real job creators are? Let them, just once, count up how many jobs it costs if a million fewer people have the money to spend on nice things and they'll never vote for us.

    • by vux984 (928602) on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @08:55PM (#39652855)

      only an idiot would build their retirement in cash dollars. this is why as soon as you've got more than a few thousand bucks in cash savings you should invest them.

      One of the many purposes of investjment is to preserve the value of wealth in an inflationary environment, where the devaluation of currency over time is assumed, and hedged against.

    • by Z34107 (925136) on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @09:07PM (#39652951)

      Digital currency just means the Central bank can wipe-out our savings more efficiently (by devaluing the dollar).

      I hate to break it to you, but "digital" has jack shit to do with whether or not a central bank can devalue the currency.

      Hint: It can.

    • by c0lo (1497653)

      Digital currency just means the Central bank can wipe-out our savings more efficiently (by devaluing the dollar).

      Why do you think that the "digital" attribute is what enable them to do that? Like they aren't doing it already with printed banknotes or minted coins? You think it cost them much to add other 3 zeroes on a note?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @08:33PM (#39652647)

    MintChip operates in either an online or an offline mode. The online most is basically the same as EMV cards used in europ. The offline mode relies entirely on a master secret key which is on every single mintchip.

    Let me repeat that, the security of offline transactions is based entirely on a secret which is on every single mintchip.

    Right, good luck with that.

    • by CastrTroy (595695) on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @08:47PM (#39652765) Homepage
      That's what I was thinking. How do you have digital currency that is anonymous? Makes no sense to me. Either there is a verifiable record of the transaction on some 3rd party machine to ensure that money was actually transferred from one account to another, which means it's not anonymous, or it is anonymous, but depends on some hard-to-break DRM going on inside the card. The problem is that there's just too much to be gained from breaking the DRM. If you break the DRM you can basically print money. This is the same problem that's existed on all non-centrally managed payment cards. From photocopier cards to transit systems. People figure out how to break the DRM and charge up their card as much as they want. When it's photocopies and transit, there's isn't much lost or gained in breaking the system. But with something that's actually equivalent with cash, there's room for a lot of fraud.
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        In the digital cash context, anonymous or more properly, untracability, means the bank cannot correlate withdrawals with deposits. When you present a coin to the bank for deposit or exchange for an unspent coin, they know it is a good coin because it has a valid RSA signature, for instance, but they have no idea to whom they gave the coin originally. David Chaum patented a scheme based on RSA in the late 80's and his student Stefan Brands came up with another scheme (and there may be others.) Offline sup

        • A patent granted in the late 80's would've expired by now.

        • An RSA signature by itsel can verify that something is what it says it is and has not been modified, but it cannot verify that something hasn't been copied (or *is* a copy). There needs to be something else as well.
      • by hvm2hvm (1208954)
        Well it can work like a prepay card. You put money on it with some code or whatever and a server registers the value on it. The places you pay get the confirmation from the server and server registers that the card has less money on it. You don't need a name associated with it.
    • by green1 (322787)

      My hope is that this is a misunderstanding or simplification generated by either a PR person or reporter and not in fact what the people designing this have done.

      What I find more likely (assuming they are doing this even remotely right) is that it relies on some form of cryptography where each MintChip as it's own unique security key that is secret from other users. Not security through obscurity, but rather public/private key cryptography which would be the only safe way to do this properly.

    • by Dwonis (52652) on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @10:47PM (#39653683)

      Let me repeat that, the security of offline transactions is based entirely on a secret which is on every single mintchip.

      I don't think that's true. I had a look at some of their protocol documentation---which isn't all that detailed---and it looks like they're probably using PKCS#7 signatures and X.509 certificates.

      Unfortunately, they aren't willing to publish enough information to actually analyze the security of the system to determine whether it's trustworthy [mintchipchallenge.com] (nothing about how the chip itself is secured, for example), but they have released enough information that we can figure out some limits on its security, and it doesn't look all that great. I'll probably get modded down for karma-whoring here, but here's what I posted on that forum, after looking at the limited documentation they provided on their website:

      Let me get this straight: MintChip is a proprietary, patented, centralized, unpublished cryptosystem, where a trusted-third-party (the Mint) signs a certificate saying "this private key was stored in a tamper-resistant hardware token that is designed not to double-spend", so we're supposed to just be able to assume that any valid MintChip transaction signatures are trustworthy, even offline. As soon as one person extracts a private key from a MintChip token (which they will, given that there's a monetary incentive), the fundamental assumption that the whole system relies upon is destroyed.

      Your organization appears to know this, which explains why you emphasize that MintChip is intended for "low value" transactions.

      Fine, so the security of the whole system depends on the security of these hardware tokens, and yet you're "not in a position to release" any tangible information about them? Why should anyone invest in this system? Because you're The Mint?

      You have the threat model wrong, too. Why on earth would you want to emulate cash? Cash is easy to counterfeit. It only remains useful because there's a high risk vs. payoff associated with uttering counterfeit cash. On the other hand, MintChip is supposed to be used online, so even if we detect a counterfeit, there's not much chance that the fraudster will actually go to jail. There's also a much larger number of potential fraudsters (basically, everyone connected to the Internet).

      MintChip also doesn't deliver on its privacy claims. "No personal data is exchanged in the transaction." That's not true at all. According to your documentation, every MintChip has a *single*, 16-digit ID that's generated by the central authority and used in all transactions, so there's no reason why these IDs couldn't be tracked the way companies already track credit card numbers.

      The funny thing is that this all could have been implemented on top of Bitcoin. Make some tamper-resistant hardware with some Bitcoin private keys inside it, and sign a certificate saying "the keys for these addresses are in tamper-proof hardware". For low-value transactions, they could be accepted at face value, but if we wanted greater certainty, we could inject the transaction into the Bitcoin network and wait for a few confirmations to avoid double-spend fraud.

      Way back in 1999, Bruce Schneier posted a list of nine cryptography "snake oil" warning signs (http://www.schneier.com/crypto-gram-9902.html#snakeoil [schneier.com]). I see 3 of the 9 warning signs here already.

  • by green1 (322787) on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @08:37PM (#39652679)

    I'm actually all for digital currency. But there are a few caveats, the obvious security ones apply, don't want people copying my digital money, don't want people stealing my digital money, don't want people creating money out of thin air. But in addition it needs to have a few other characteristics:
    - Doesn't cost me anything to use. This is why I currently ignore Interac email transfers and still write people cheques, it's much cheaper for me. (even if it should be in the bank's best interest to push me the other direction, the cheque should be a lot more expensive for them to process!)
    - Isn't tied to any one platform. Don't tell me I need an iPhone, or a Windows PC, or any other specific device, make it work on just about anything (obviously within reason)
    - Anonymous. (listed in the summary, so it's a good start, but I can't emphasize enough that you will never get rid of physical currency as long as you make all your digital currency leave a trail)
    - Hard to lose. I don't want to lose all my cash to a hard drive crash, or other similar event, so I need to either be able to back it up, or better yet not have to. (of course this is very difficult to accomplish while maintaining both anonymity and security, but there are a lot of bright minds out there, hopefully someone can come up with a good way to do it.)
    - Ideally non-network dependent. A couple of years ago requiring an internet connection for the transaction would have been a deal breaker, but with the increased ubiquity of the internet on mobile devices this has lowered somewhat in priority. I still think though that you need to be able to pay someone without necesarily having network access at the time.

    • by dcbrianw (1154925) on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @09:33PM (#39653161)
      You forgot one caveat: strip clubs now have to affix digital card readers to their employee's legs. "Please hold still, miss." :-)
    • by pnewhook (788591)
      So its obvious for money but not obvious for other digital commodities like music? The 'I should be allowed to copy digital music' argument goes it is not stealing since I'm only making a copy of what you have and am not depriving you of any property. If I make a copy of your digital money is that not the same thing?
  • by Osgeld (1900440) on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @08:40PM (#39652709)

    you know that bit of plastic with my information encoded on the back, I swipe it into a miniature computer where that information wisks away to be validated and approved ... fucking smoke signals?

    its just a pet peeve of mine ... digital

    digital currency, fucking already have it
    digital distribution, thank god, those fucking analog CD's and DVD's were so poor sounding when I copied them in my car
    digital download, how the hell else is that going to work?

    I dont know what shit for brains started replacing "internet" with "digital' but its fucking retarded

    • by psiclops (1011105)

      digital currency, fucking already have it

      a creadit/debit card is not a form of currency. you do not trade credit cards with other people. it is essentially part of an authentication system that allows you to connect to a banks system and authorise a payment to someone else. you can not recieve payment using one.

      digital distribution, thank god, those fucking analog CD's and DVD's were so poor sounding when I copied them in my car

      those cd's and dvd's that contain digital content however were distributed via physical means. unless you have some sort of futuristic 3d printer and access to a service which will digitally transfer the required data for said printer to 'c

  • by theshowmecanuck (703852) on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @08:42PM (#39652725) Journal
    The Canadian mint is releasing a quarter with a dinosaur on it where, when you turn off the light, a glow in the dark image of it's skeleton [cnet.com.au] shows up. I find this more interesting and relevant to my day to day life than digital currency I'm not likely to use in the near future... unless forced. Well that, and the fact they Canadian mint has just been ordered to stop producing the penny... Canada will penny free very soon. Anyway, I like the current system of Interac [wikipedia.org] and cash very much, thank you. With the Harper government busily trying to catch up to the U.S. in terms of snooping on its own citizens (not sure anyone could catch up to the British government... even the Chinese), the less I want to do with any form of Canadian government information network.
    • by hipp5 (1635263)
      I liked Interac a lot until I stopped being a student and no longer get unlimited transactions. $0.65 for every transaction after 8 in a month!? And it's going up to $1 in June! I've shopped around a bit too and can't find anything that works out better than that. So now I just use my CC for everything and make sure I pay it off before getting interest.
      • by pnewhook (788591)
        What the heck? I don't pay anything for interact transactions, nor should you. Its money right out of your account just like cash. There's no service being provided.
      • by Jmc23 (2353706)
        Presdent's choice financial. It's basically CIBC without any fees and no minimum balances. Even have a selection of CIBC mutual funds with lower MERs
  • My wife's originally from Canada, and I lived there for a while. I noticed that Canada would try new things, including tech, and later you'd see it in the states. They're smaller and more nimble (1/10th the population) and North American companies could try new things there and see if they work. Also, maybe there's the benefit of: if the idea crashes and burns, it's not noticed in the states and the company doesn't need to worry about damaging their brand in the states.
  • by BitterOak (537666) on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @08:55PM (#39652857)
    Love it or hate it, PayPal has become a de facto standard for Internet payments. What would this service offer that PayPal didn't?
    • by hipp5 (1635263)
      I suspect:
      - No fees
      - None of PayPal's douchebaggedness.
    • by pnewhook (788591)
      Well considering I know several people who have had their PayPal accounts hacked (I refuse to get one) I'd hope security would be a lot better.
    • by cosm (1072588) <thecosm3@gmail. c o m> on Thursday April 12, 2012 @12:10AM (#39654083)

      What would this service offer that PayPal didn't?>

      'It wouldn't be PayPal' is a necessary and sufficient condition for its existence.

    • by 1s44c (552956)

      What would this service offer that PayPal didn't?

      Lower fees.
      Customer service.
      A more respectable business model. You know they close accounts for stupid reasons and just keep the cash don't you?
      No dirty trickys like converting non-USD debts to USD at their exchange rate in order to bump up the amount they claim people owe them.
      Terms and conditions that are not an exercise in customer abuse.

  • Envy of Sweden? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by aristotle-dude (626586) on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @09:11PM (#39652989)

    Was the summary written by an American by any chance? Canada embraced debit card transitions under the name "Interac" long before the US started experimenting with visa debit/check cards. I have a Interac bank card that I can use almost anywhere in Canada for making purchases which also works as a "visa debit" card in the US and as a visa that is tied to my checking account on some US online sites. We have been largely cashless for some time but I still like to have cash as a backup in case the interac network goes down which has happened quite a few times.

    I remember one time going to the movies and I was one of a handful of people who actually had enough cash in the wallet to buy movie tickets and concession snacks while almost everyone else were up the creek without a paddle when the network went down in the entire city.

    • Canada embraced debit card transitions under the name "Interac" long before the US started experimenting with visa debit/check cards.

      I got a debit card in Canada in 1984, at the first bank that implemented one without requiring me to consent to a credit check as part of the application process. It's like, dude, it's a debit card. You're only giving me my own money back. We may have been ahead of the States but we're still a bit slow in the head.

      Then I moved to Sweden. I was working and motorcycle
  • by Harkin (1951724) on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @09:29PM (#39653113)
    Just got the email today! Any other slashdotters selected?
  • translation....

    How can we as the banking elite, make wealth creation at the push of a button on a computer for ourselves and our minions (any politician or judge)?

    Without all of that Gold or Silver or value based paper that limits out ability to print money so we can fund unlimited wars to destroy and rape other countries using the USA military?

    After all, we don't like currency that is backed by anything. We just want to make any we want, with no work involved at any amount we wish.

    Plus, if all currency is

  • What problem is this "micro payment" system going to solve?

    This is a serious question - what real-life purchasing have you failed to offer because there is no cheap "micro payment" method you can accept?

    I really want to know what opportunities I am missing out on, aside from "if you build it they will come" type dreams... (but I will accept those answers too, I suppose).

    Maybe:

    I would sell you an
    awesome haiku for a nickle
    if you could pay me
  • by knorthern knight (513660) on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @11:43PM (#39653985)

    This system is supposed to handle micropayments. Yeah, the penny costs 1.6 cents to produce. But, because it's metal, it can easily survive being used in 10,000 transactions. This is equivalant to a surcharge of 0.016% per transaction. In the case of nickels/dimes/quarters and $1 and $2 coins, the overhead ratio becomes even more microscopic. Compare this with what credit card companies charge. From http://www.cbc.ca/news/story/2009/04/16/f-cardfees.html [www.cbc.ca]

    > Merchants pay two to four per cent of the sale price in various
    > transaction fees whenever they accept a credit card for payment.

    > âoePlayers you wouldnâ(TM)t have thought of beforeâ are looking for
    > ways to get into the market of secure transactions, she said.

    The article in the summary ( http://www.thestar.com/business/article/1159513--royal-canadian-mint-to-create-digital-currency [thestar.com] ) says...
    > âoeYouâ(TM)re seeing competitors that have been in the space in a while
    > and new competitors looking at the payments market as an opportunity.â

    Being a middleman is very profitable. It would be even more profitable if every minor transaction was charged.

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