Digital Cash Resources

What is digital cash?

Also known as digital currency, digital money, e-cash, e-currency, or e-money, digital cash refers to a unique cryptographic string of digits representing value that can be transferred electronically. Digital cash nomenclature specifically refers to digital bearer certificates that are negotiable in a peer-to-peer environment as opposed to a central ledger-based transfer. In its purest form, digital cash emulates the features of physical paper currency, namely anonymity and untraceability. Additionally, digital cash may include other features such as expiration dates, irreversibility, re-issuance, and variable denomination amounts.

In addition to competing protocols, digital cash issuers compete on the basis of brand recognition, trustworthiness, user-friendly e-wallets, multiple hardware devices, jurisdictional independence, and most importantly, reserve value backing. Although digital cash issuers may choose any commodity or political fiat currency as their reserve value backing, market forces ultimately will determine the winners and losers.

The direct benefits of digital cash include strong financial privacy, transactional efficiency, and non-physical presence. In the case of nonpolitical value representation, such as gold or silver bullion, the macro societal benefits of digital cash may also include protection from depreciating fiat currencies, freedom from nation-state capital controls, freedom from confiscation and tax levies, and the unimpeded ability to transfer large-scale value privately.

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