NSA Report on e-money

Rohit Khare (khare@w3.org)
Mon, 4 Nov 1996 11:33:09 -0500

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Date: Sun, 3 Nov 1996 14:38:47 -0800
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
From: Norman Hardy <norm@netcom.com>
Subject: Re: NSA Report: Anyone seen this?
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I just finished reading the report "How to Make a Mint: The Cryptography of
Anonymous Electronic Cash" by Law, Sabett & Solinas. It can be found at

It is very well written with only identification of the issues except in
the last short paragraph where they clearly lean toward government

They identify and distinguish interests of the bank, the consumer's
privacy, and the government. Some of the measures that they describe
(providing for traceability) might well be done by a bank operating in an
anarchy. Imagine that you are running a bank in an anarchy and the son of
one of your good customers is kidnapped and held for ransom. Suppose that
the kidnapper is a good customer of another bank with whom you have an
arm's length relation. The arguments are not simple. Only towards the end
does the paper begin to conflate the interests of the government and the
bank. Some of the law enforcement purposes that they describe would apply
to the anarchy bank, others would not.

The paper is the best description I have seen of several advanced money
schemes. It has a better description of Chaum's off-line scheme than I had
seen before. It describes sever even more advanced schemes, both abstracted
form the mathematical details, and then with the details filled in.

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