Re: Paypal - inertialess cash at last!

Date: Thu Mar 09 2000 - 16:42:54 MST

Eliezer S. Yudkowsky, <>, writes:
> With the arrival of Paypal, which charges no annual fees and no
> transaction percentages for credit-card-based money transfers to any
> email address in the US, inertialess money is finally here. (Paypal
> intends to make money off the interest accrued on cash floating in their system.)

I agree that PayPal and similar systems have great potential for
providing low cost user-to-user electronic money transfers. As I wrote
last week, they recently announced a merger with, another company
doing something similar. eBay has announced their own payment system,
BillPoint, partnering with Wells Fargo Bank. And yesterday, Bank One
announced their eMoneyMail service which will also let you transfer
money to other people electronically. For gold bugs, e-gold and a
competitor starting soon called will allow you to open
accounts denominated in grams of gold that can be used to pay other
account holders. Most of these systems besides Paypal charge fees, but
perhaps with competition they will be forced to eliminate them eventually.

> This heralds the beginning of a seismic shift in the economic structure.
> It will herald the dawn of micropayments, take a huge bite out of the
> dominance of cash, eventually kick over the credit-card system now used,
> and perhaps create a great Webbed structure of cash applause. For some
> years now, I've visualized a system where, each time one visits a
> sufficiently great Website, one clicks a button that sends a few cents
> to the owner. Websites, mailing posts, bon mots, good causes, great
> ideas - all upheld and rewarded by a system of cash applause that, with
> the rise of ultraproductivity, may become a dominant part of the social
> system.

I've seen something similar beginning already. Somebody on the e-gold
lists posts with a .sig file saying something like, "Interested in my
two cents? Click me two cents worth of e-gold!" with a URL link you
can click on and more or less automatically transfer $.02 to the guy.
He said that he's gotten several dollars worth of donations in the few
weeks he's been doing this.


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