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eCash

Definition

Ecash was conceived by David Chaum as an anonymous cryptographic electronic money or electronic cash system in 1983. It was realized through his corporation Digicash and used as micropayment system at one US bank from 1995 to 1998.

What is 'eCash'

An Internet-based system that allows funds to be transferred anonymously. Similar to credit cards, eCash was free to users, while sellers paid a fee. Because of security concerns, eCash remains more of an idea and less of an actual payment system.

Explaining 'eCash'

eCash uses blind signatures (a type of digital signature where the message's content cannot be seen before it is signed) so no link could be made between withdrawal and spend transactions. The system was used by one bank in the United States, the Mark Twain bank; however, the system was dissolved in 1997 after the bank was purchased by Mercantile Bank. eCash was a trademark of DigiCash, a firm that went bankrupt in 1998 and was sold to eCash Technologies. eCash Technologies was acquired in 2002 by InfoSpace.


Further Reading


Money in electronic commerce: Digital cash, electronic fund transfer, and ecash
dl.acm.org [PDF]
… price level for goods and services in the economy and for increased economic growth through … 1 1996) accepting Ecash is less than 100, according to Digicash's own registries … About the Author PATIWAT PANURACH is a student in the Faculty of Economics at Thammasat …

The economics of mobile payments: Understanding stakeholder issues for an emerging financial technology applicationThe economics of mobile payments: Understanding stakeholder issues for an emerging financial technology application
www.sciencedirect.com [PDF]
… price level for goods and services in the economy and for increased economic growth through … 1 1996) accepting Ecash is less than 100, according to Digicash's own registries … About the Author PATIWAT PANURACH is a student in the Faculty of Economics at Thammasat …

The social construction of a secure, anonymous electronic payment system: frame alignment and mobilization around EcashThe social construction of a secure, anonymous electronic payment system: frame alignment and mobilization around Ecash
journals.sagepub.com [PDF]
… price level for goods and services in the economy and for increased economic growth through … 1 1996) accepting Ecash is less than 100, according to Digicash's own registries … About the Author PATIWAT PANURACH is a student in the Faculty of Economics at Thammasat …

This Time Is Different: Facebook's Libra Can Improve Both Financial Inclusion and Global Financial Stability as a Viable Alternative Currency to the US DollarThis Time Is Different: Facebook's Libra Can Improve Both Financial Inclusion and Global Financial Stability as a Viable Alternative Currency to the US Dollar
papers.ssrn.com [PDF]
… price level for goods and services in the economy and for increased economic growth through … 1 1996) accepting Ecash is less than 100, according to Digicash's own registries … About the Author PATIWAT PANURACH is a student in the Faculty of Economics at Thammasat …



Q&A About eCash


Who pays the fee for using eCash?

Sellers paid a fee for using eCash.

What is eCash?

eCash is an Internet-based system that allows funds to be transferred anonymously.

What bank used this system in the United States?

The Mark Twain Bank used this system in the United States. However, the bank was dissolved after being purchased by Mercantile Bank.

Is eCash free to users?

Yes, it was free to users.

How does the blind signature work in this system?

Blind signatures allow no link between withdrawal and spend transactions.

Why did Mercantile Bank dissolve its use of eCash?

Because of security concerns, Mercantile Bank decided not to continue with its use of eCash after purchasing the Mark Twain Bank. This decision came about because of security concerns over potential fraud and hacking into accounts through online banking systems like this one. This concern led to many banks around the world discontinuing their use of systems like these as well.

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