OpinionBanks should provide a digital equivalent of cash/cheques for online transactions, not force customers to use credit cards (or worse, PayPal and the like).
      – Lee J Haywood, 2008-09-09 at 22:30:21   (23 comments)

On 2008-09-09 at 22:45:10, Lee J Haywood wrote...
I've had this simple idea for years now. All they have to do is issue big, unique, random numbers and have a database remember how much money it corresponds to. When you someone 'cashes it in', the number money is transferred to them and the database entry deleted - so it can only be used once. In theory, you can copy the unique ID any way you want - smart card, e-mail, fax, etc. It's not hard to generate a value that has never appeared before in the history of the universe - here's $50... gN4KVHAV5OXCZ2fV3HfcNrpW3ZajOzQnsYhJYrgvctqMru1qxcTXHqyUtyjtkwGjdJZfxE
On 2008-09-09 at 22:48:56, BorgClown wrote...
Your change sir: KKGzIo4hcqc7W8y1TzTXhZQOmpTXGUjmLURko77JvvnXikRxYQUyCf15kteMcsYgdgrN0N
On 2008-09-09 at 22:49:54, BorgClown wrote...
Obviously your software likes more uppercase than mine.
On 2008-09-09 at 22:50:10, Lee J Haywood wrote...
Wait, where did you get that from...? (-:
On 2008-09-09 at 22:51:15, BorgClown wrote...
It is my check! Do you prefer it checksum certified?
On 2008-09-09 at 22:52:02, BorgClown wrote...
@Lee J Haywood: Oh, the uppercase. Your code clumps too many uppercase letters at the start. Doesn't look random enough.
On 2008-09-09 at 22:53:59, Lee J Haywood wrote...
It just doesn't look like you hit random keys. Mine is actually random - it's the start of a bunch of SHA1 hashes from the Discussionator database. The upper case letters are curious, but they're actually pasted together from separate substrings - so it really is coincidental.
On 2008-09-09 at 22:55:24, BorgClown wrote...
I made mine with my password generator.
On 2009-02-22 at 20:05:30, Baslisks wrote...
@BorgClown: it doesn't look random enough....
On 2009-02-22 at 21:00:12, Thelevellers wrote...
I like this idea. Paying people with random numbers would make me happy! It's about as real as 'real' money! :D
On 2009-02-22 at 23:46:27, Baslisks wrote...
easy to set up easy to cheat. a friend of mine made a card reader. He then read a bunch of cards to see how campus security worked. real easy.
On 2009-02-22 at 23:57:43, Lee J Haywood wrote...
Presumably the US hasn't moved to chipped cards yet. We don't really use magnetic strips in the UK any more. You cannot say that paying with one-time numbers is insecure without a protocol having been specified. I can secure the numbers in my virtual wallet any way I like, but the beauty would be portability - you could e-mail the money or send it to a web site, store it on your PC, have it in your telephone, print it on a piece of paper... And any security you'd normally apply to any of those storage/transmission mechanisms you'd be able to use for the electronic 'money'. The only thing that would need to be standardised is the actual transfer of the money from the bank. So the hard part is getting the banks to actually talk to each other for lots of very small transactions, but there's no reason they couldn't take a small fee each time.
On 2009-02-23 at 00:01:31, Baslisks wrote...
I would think of a larger monthly fee rather than a small fee. Contract thing or maybe invest it and hope for returns when people start taking their money from your bank.
On 2009-02-25 at 04:57:59, BorgClown wrote...
@Baslisks: I limited it to mixed-case letters, it can include numbers and symbols, but those are a PITA to type in a blackberry.
On 2009-02-25 at 05:01:34, BorgClown wrote...
Oh, phone chips who can be used to make payments were very recently offered in Mexico. It's cool as hell, but I'm gonna wait to see how it fares here. In Japan you can buy junk food from the street machines with your phone, and so far so good. Maybe Lee's idea is being implemented in some form.
On 2009-02-25 at 15:04:50, Lee J Haywood wrote...
I think that's different where you have a device that does some authentication and provides a hotline to your bank account, or deducts money from a single balance. My idea was about having lots of individual blocks of currency in your virtual wallet, each represented by a different number, but perhaps that's just silly and impractical.
On 2009-02-25 at 17:03:01, Baslisks wrote...
Why would you chunk the money? Why not just do the large sum with subtraction.
On 2009-02-25 at 17:54:41, Lee J Haywood wrote...
Because that only works with communication with the bank at the time of the transaction. Having the big random number represent an actual cash value means that you can transfer the number by any means you wish, but the downside is that 2 people could receive the same value and only one will be able to claim it. It's a bit like having a physical bank note which you cannot forge (assume its serial number is significant) but can make copies of freely. You can claim the value of any copy, but only one copy and only one time.
On 2009-02-25 at 20:30:44, Baslisks wrote...
Maybe could be done when you have free net everywhere. Have both vendors connect and confirm the exchange of cash at once with a unique 64 bit.
On 2009-02-26 at 05:41:01, BorgClown wrote...
Boy, I thought it had something to do with your chip being like the phone or electronic cash cards, where you use them like regular cards, but the remaining amount is stored in the card's memory. It turns out that here it is being implemented by plain, old, boring SMS text messages.
On 2009-02-26 at 05:43:27, BorgClown wrote...
Here you can buy public phone cards with a chip filled with a specific amount of cash, and the public phone deducts each minute before it starts to be consumed. Those cards can be "refilled" at unauthorized dealers.
On 2009-02-26 at 06:59:02, Baslisks wrote...
@BorgClown: unauthorized=hacked?
On 2009-02-28 at 03:31:42, BorgClown wrote...
Yup, although it's more of an inside job. Someone gets them the same chip recorders used at the phone company. I'm sure there are some basic (and worthless) security measures, so maybe hacking gets a little bit of the deed. You gotta reckon' that it must be sweet to basically create money out of thin air.