Monday, November 03, 2003

A future of money conference, noted by Corey Doctorow. Who knew?

Ron RIvest (co-inventor of RSA encryption):

We have two kinds of money: those based on gold atoms and those
based on bits. If you try to make bit-based systems work like
gold-based systems, it won't work. We can't ship gold atoms over
the Internet, so we need to use bit-based systems. There's a
naive belief in the Internet yielding decentralized payment
systems, but payment systems require centralized points. What
will be decentralized will be players -- phones, PDAs -- but the
accounts will remain centralized.

Hmm. But nothing about alternative / complementary currencies. Judging from this there's currently a big divide between these people (who are thinking mainly in terms of cryptography and traditional business) and the Bernard Lietaer idea of The Future of Money. That's a disconnect that needs bridging.

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