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Canadian Mint To Create Digital Currency 298

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

    by MachDelta ( 704883 ) on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @09:27PM (#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 cpu6502 ( 1960974 ) on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @09:33PM (#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 CastrTroy ( 595695 ) on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @09:47PM (#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.
  • by vux984 ( 928602 ) on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @09:55PM (#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 @10:07PM (#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.

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

    by aristotle-dude ( 626586 ) on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @10:11PM (#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.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @10:30PM (#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:A better name (Score:5, Insightful)

    by pnewhook ( 788591 ) on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @10:32PM (#39653153)
    ok, seriously. Where did the aboot thing come from cause no one here pronounces about like that.
  • by Hamsterdan ( 815291 ) on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @11:41PM (#39653651)

    "The fact that you won't face life in prison for possessing a joint or peeing on a fence.

    The fact that your kids won't wind up in jail (with a permanent criminal record) because they backtalked a teacher."

    Don't worry , we're getting there...

  • by SecurityGuy ( 217807 ) on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @11:42PM (#39653663)

    I think we do. There's a lot of zealotry out there. I lot of vigorous disagreement over whether it's ok to be, say, gay or not. Get an abortion or not. Use one kind of drug or another. Be a member of one religion or another. I should be free to anonymously buy...whatever gay people buy...if I want. I should be able to go anonymously buy a nice bottle of scotch. I can now. If I want to drop a $20 in the collection plate, I can and no one's the wiser.

    We should be able to focus less on proving we didn't do anything wrong and more on the idea that we don't HAVE to prove we didn't do anything wrong. The whole presumption of innocence thing, ya know?

  • by Vaphell ( 1489021 ) on Thursday April 12, 2012 @04:37AM (#39655031)

    A properly run economy

    Economy doesn't need to be run, it's not a car. It's like saying that ecosystems need to be run or the weather needs to be run or the water circulation needs to be run. It just happens because there are naturally existing forces that initiate actions.
    Just look at the track record of human interventions in ecosystems to make it better. Aral Sea nearly gone, Australia is full of nasty foreign species that were to fix an existing problem, but caused greater one, Aswan Dam has its own share of problems. That's how good people are at controlling things they don't understand.

    Thanks to decades of debt-heavy "optimization" geared to inflate the holy GDP metric, we have a global economy that is at the brink of collapse.

  • by 1s44c ( 552956 ) on Thursday April 12, 2012 @05:48AM (#39655347)

    copyright != counterfeiting. If I photocopy your $100 bill with a super-duper photocopier, did I rob you?

    Actually yes, If you make a $100 bill and it enters general circulation the entire economy just inflated by $100. You robbed everyone who holds dollars.

This process can check if this value is zero, and if it is, it does something child-like. -- Forbes Burkowski, CS 454, University of Washington