Electronic cash-technology will denationalise money

Financial cryptography, anguilla (February 1997)
  • David G. W. Birch
  • Neil A. McEvoy
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 1318)


Emerging technologies, particularly the synthesis of cryptographic software and tamper-resistant smart card hardware into the electronic purse, will make the cost of entry into the currency issuing ‘market’ quite small. Many organisations may then wish to enter this market, for example as a means of supplying credit (as envisaged by Frederick Hayek), of raising finance, or of encouraging customer loyalty (explored by Edward de Bono). Whereas the world's currencies are currently organised on territorial lines, we foresee a future in which currencies occupy (overlapping) niches according to the ‘virtual’, as well as geographic, communities to which people belong and a vigorous ‘foreign’ exchange market where people (or, more likely, their PCs) trade these currencies. Just a couple of years ago the concept of electronic cash was unknown in the mass market, but soon it will be taken for granted and will be as widespread as credit cards and chequebooks are today—and the ramifications of such a widespread deployment deserve serious examination and debate.


Central Bank Credit Card Smart Card Money Supply Money Laundering 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • David G. W. Birch
  • Neil A. McEvoy

There are no affiliations available

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