Hal offered a very helpful summary of recent advances in ecash, concluding:
> Whomever wins, once there is a widespread person to person payment
> infrastructure it should be possible to layer ecash on top of it.
> This might lead to a more decentralized solution which would be less of
> a target for regulators.
> You'll notice that a lot of this has happened only in the last few weeks
> and even days. It's very exciting to watch.
My $.02, from a legal/regulatory point of view: Internet gambling offers one
of the most likely vectors for the widespread use of ecash. The compressed
analysis: Most Internet commerce to date has relied on credit cards,
notwithstanding their salient downsides, because consumers already have them
ready-at-hand. Legal and policy developments will, however, increasingly
make credit cards unsuitable for Internet gambling. See, e.g., lawsuits
brought against credit card companies that allegedly enabled illegal gambling
and proposed legislation outlawing many types of Internet gambling.
Consumers won't want to give up Internet gambling and Internet gambling
services will have strong incentives to push payment methods less susceptible
to regulatory interference than are credit cards.
Once Internet casinos help to establish ecash among their customers, network
returns will kick in and . . . voila! We get a robust ecash economy.
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