October 17th, 2006

geekery, snow crash, hiro

Cryptographers are clever people

So, I've been reading about David Chaum's digital cash protocols, which allow two people to perform a bank transaction without the bank being able to connect the two participants—as if one of them had withdrawn cash and given it to the other to deposit, except there aren't even usable serial numbers for the bank to connect.

As you might expect, it's exceedingly clever.

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These folks are fucking geniuses. It's too bad no bank wants to do this—they prefer to be able to see who the money is coming from. (And the government prefers them to see it, too, so it can be subpoenated.)