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Author Topic: The Royal Canadian Mint just announced a new alternative to BitCoin  (Read 18302 times)
Yankee (BitInstant)
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April 04, 2012, 08:20:13 PM
 #61

Great opportunity for P2P-exchange between Bitcoin and MintChip.
Bye-bye Gox and last Bitcoin weakness.
This is really exciting times.

Nothing exciting nor threatening to bitcoin ... governments printing (sorry... electronically issuing) fiat. NO thank you. I saw how it ends Wink Backed by the Royal Canadian Mint? How is this going to be "Private"? Governments desperate to seize control of at least a portion of the electronic currency revolution.

Bitcoin and the exchanging ecosystem might need to mature, but I'll rather stick with it.


Roberto I agree 100%

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April 04, 2012, 08:29:07 PM
 #62


on the plus side:
 - has gov. backing


I guess it is in the eye of the beholder as they say. This to me is a HUGE setback. With paper printed monopoly fiat, at least the government does not have a way to track my activity. I'll stick with that short term, and with bitcoin long term.

Agreed, it's a good thing short term; but bitcoin will prevail long term. (fingers crossed)

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April 04, 2012, 08:31:22 PM
 #63

I wasn't talking about gold or silver, and he said he wasn't either. So that leaves only you talking about gold an silver. Consider the context of the Canadian Mint creating a digital currency and it becomes more clear that the backing in this case is Canadian dollars.

You were not talking about gold or silver?

A hard backed Bitcoin alternative would be pretty easy to setup I think. All you need is to remove the coin generation, and start the initial block with a ridiculously large amount of money. So the Canadian Mint holds the private keys to 10 trillion BTC. These could possibly be timelocked as well, so they absolutely cannot go into circulation all at once. Then they have an open contract to sell anyone funds from their huge reserve of BTC in exchange for equivalent CAD which they will remove from circulation, and they also agree to buy back these BTC for the locked away (or freshly minted) CAD.

Bold emphasis mine. Hard backed means backed by gold or silver.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hard_money_(policy)

Anyway I've got to log off now. Be back later.
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April 04, 2012, 08:34:28 PM
 #64

This seems fake.


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April 04, 2012, 08:36:53 PM
 #65

This seems fake.

It's as fake as a fake can be.

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mycelium.com


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April 04, 2012, 08:40:25 PM
 #66

I guess it is in the eye of the beholder as they say.

of course, this all depends on the perspective. from a plain'ol merchants POV this is positive, since they will not have any legal hassle.

Quote
Please Note: You must be a legal resident of Canada or the fifty (50) United States or the District of Columbia to participate in The MintChip Challenge
NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!
i'd really, really like to get that physical kit for playing around with it.

Also, I find it funny that David Birch, the Bitcoin nemesis is one of the judges in the challenge.
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e-ducat.fr


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April 04, 2012, 10:03:50 PM
 #67

"the core of MintChip is an integrated circuit "

OK this is yet another hardware based, centralized system ..

As much an alternative to bitcoin as .. (fill in whatever crosses your mind now)

I would say an engagement in the patent war to get electronic "fiat" money onto SIM cards and EMV cards.

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April 04, 2012, 10:14:00 PM
 #68

Well this is interesting.  So many thoughts.

First of all, April fools!

Obviously there is a vacuum for a digital currency backed by precious metals.  Perhaps that is what they are thinking.

If this actually exists and is as "private" as they claim, it could be a boon for Bitcoin in order to help stabilize inter-exchange arbitrage without relying on shifty 3rd party payment networks.

And finally, the invasion begins in 3, 2, 1...

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April 04, 2012, 10:19:30 PM
 #69

So you can buy drugs with MintChip and send MintChips across borders.  If the gov't of Canada can do this then U.S. politicians must give into bitcoin.  I see this as a bitcoin win.

+1 for double standards!!

Standards are like testicles: Every dick has 2.

Okay and what about unichs?
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April 04, 2012, 10:39:53 PM
 #70

Also, I find it funny that David Birch, the Bitcoin nemesis is one of the judges in the challenge.

Quote from: David Birch
A lot of people don't want anonymity in payments.  They want privacy in payments, which is a very different thing.  I want privacy.  I want, like, I don't know, if you're some company, I don't want you to be able to snoop around in my payments.  If you're city hall, you have to get some kind of warrant to look at my payments.  I want privacy, but do I want anonymity?  Do I want to live in a trading environment where I can pay you, and then you can stiff me and I have no idea who you are?  I'm not sure...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1jgbk9BIVlQ&t=3m22s

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apetersson
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April 04, 2012, 11:20:04 PM
 #71

just downloaded the java examples (which come compiled only)
i decompiled all jar/class files using JAD to get a quick overview how it works in detail. this info may not be 100% correct since i only took a quick look and i do not have the hardware

in depth it looks like it works like that:
1) a service decides it wants to get paid. it issues a IValueRequestMessage which contains
amount
currency
payer ID (looks like its sort of customer number/or user definable number)
annotation (msg to go along with payment)
challenge which may be generated at random? from Hardware
response-address; base64coded from ASN-serialized/DER encoded binary message which is basically an equivalent of an Tx Output

2) the payer replys with a IValueMessage containing
amount
currency
payeeId
payerid
payercertificate
challenge
min-version ??
generation time
annotation
ASN-serialized/DER encoded data which comes from the hardware-chip that encodes a set of Tx Inputs. It looks like to handle "change" money the payer may first split existing outputs into multiple child nodes. this splitting occurs also on hardware.

so the hardware not only stores private keys, it also stores all relevant previous transactions.

the API supports both debit and also credit transactions, they seem to be two distinct crypto chains. so you can also pay someone without having a positive balance. the credit can be paid off by receiving valuemessage
according to error codes - for credit there seems to be a limit stored in the HW.


what looks like unspecified is how payee+payer communicate their data. in the android demo application you have to load the message from SD card. i'm not sure if it may be possible to encode all this ASN/DER encoded payment graph into a QR Code.
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April 04, 2012, 11:30:27 PM
 #72

I gave some current examples - EUR, GBP, USD, CAD, JPY. They are listed on the diagram in the link I posted.

I specifically doubt that this MintChip will use XAU or XAG (gold and silver) as currencies. They are not on the list.

There's no specific reason they couldn't issue to MintChip XAU back XAU (Gold) though, just as they would for USDs.  They could issue BTCs through MintChips and back them as well.

But will the Royal Canadian Mint honestly be holding JPY, RUB and CHFs to back funds issued on MintChips in those currencies?  Or will they only happen to use CAD, even though the technology supports the others?

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April 05, 2012, 12:13:08 AM
 #73

we might be able to use this mint chip to finally be able to implement a fully decentralized, automated, and anonymous  bitcoin exchange!

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Charlie 'Van Bitcoin' Shrem


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April 05, 2012, 12:53:23 AM
 #74

Ok, so TechCrunch I think gave a good run down of the differences:

I'll post relevant quotes from: http://techcrunch.com/2012/04/04/royal-canadian-mints-mintchip-looks-to-officially-digitize-cash/

Quote
The Royal Canadian Mint is hoping to create such a system: a multi-platform, simple, and secure alternative to cash. Others around the net have likened it to Bitcoin, but that’s really an inapt comparison. MintChip isn’t a virtual currency, it’s a virtual wallet, something which has been tried before. But, naturally enough, they hope to succeed where others have failed. But are they writing a check they can’t cash?

Briefly, it must be explained why MintChip is nothing like Bitcoin. Bitcoin is a fundamentally different style of currency: a regulated “resource” that uses a totally different method of exchange than cash. It’s very secure in a way, but the aspects that give it that security also make it foreign to existing and familiar payment methods, and by extention, users. Furthermore, its value fluctuates wildly, making it unsuitable for everyday purchases like coffee and cab fare.

MintChip, named after the Mint, the chip enabling the system, and perhaps inadvertently the ice cream flavor, is just a way of securely exchanging Canadian dollars (or at some point, they would hope, other currencies) by means of trusted hardware and straightforward accounting. The actual chip can be fitted into a number of devices, from micro SD cards to POS systems. MintChip value is transferred onto a chip by a MintChip broker, and can then be transferred independently between chips, online or off.

They claim the system is secure and anonymous, though any system that relies on trusted hardware and intermediaries is vulnerable to spoofing and duplication. And anonymity is not an easy promise either: as long as amounts and transfers are tied to account numbers, and account numbers are tied to identities and cards used to purchase funds, anonymity is far from assured. It’s not clear from the spec when and how long account and transaction information is stored.

The reliance on trusted, independent hardware seems like the weak link here, and all it will take is a few hackers (on their own or backed by bank and credit interests) to make public a tool that fools either brokers or merchants into thinking a transaction has taken place. Not a trivial task, but far from impossible. This gives the whole system a bad smell for anyone looking to adopt it. Credit card fraud is rampant, admittedly, but that’s more a function of the system’s widespread use and acceptance. MintChip doesn’t have the advantage of being accepted everywhere.

Thoughts?

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April 05, 2012, 01:38:25 AM
 #75

This sounds like a desperation move as the RCM monetary overlords (and other CB's no doubt) have fully realised the implications Bitcoin has for their monopoly power over money and are mounting an unseemly, hasty effort to outflank. Maybe Canada is a test case for global designs?

It is half-baked, ill-informed and vague, desperate even. Gold bounties for developers to join their forces reeks of kitschy imitation of the organic bitcoin bounty system for devs. It is something they would dearly love to have but can never grasp .... with all the 'money' in the world.

I would say this move is definitely prompted by the advent of Bitcoin but it has inevitable and epic fail written all over it ... steer clear.

Also it means Bitcoin has progressed to the third stage of Ghandi's conflict maxim: "First they ignore, then they ridicule, then THEY FIGHT ....."


Edit: the big lose for me though was they named it after an ice cream flavour

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April 05, 2012, 01:54:58 AM
 #76

Ok, so TechCrunch I think gave a good run down of the differences:

I'll post relevant quotes from: http://techcrunch.com/2012/04/04/royal-canadian-mints-mintchip-looks-to-officially-digitize-cash/

Quote
The Royal Canadian Mint is hoping to create such a system: a multi-platform, simple, and secure alternative to cash. Others around the net have likened it to Bitcoin, but that’s really an inapt comparison. MintChip isn’t a virtual currency, it’s a virtual wallet, something which has been tried before. But, naturally enough, they hope to succeed where others have failed. But are they writing a check they can’t cash?

Briefly, it must be explained why MintChip is nothing like Bitcoin. Bitcoin is a fundamentally different style of currency: a regulated “resource” that uses a totally different method of exchange than cash. It’s very secure in a way, but the aspects that give it that security also make it foreign to existing and familiar payment methods, and by extention, users. Furthermore, its value fluctuates wildly, making it unsuitable for everyday purchases like coffee and cab fare.

MintChip, named after the Mint, the chip enabling the system, and perhaps inadvertently the ice cream flavor, is just a way of securely exchanging Canadian dollars (or at some point, they would hope, other currencies) by means of trusted hardware and straightforward accounting. The actual chip can be fitted into a number of devices, from micro SD cards to POS systems. MintChip value is transferred onto a chip by a MintChip broker, and can then be transferred independently between chips, online or off.

They claim the system is secure and anonymous, though any system that relies on trusted hardware and intermediaries is vulnerable to spoofing and duplication. And anonymity is not an easy promise either: as long as amounts and transfers are tied to account numbers, and account numbers are tied to identities and cards used to purchase funds, anonymity is far from assured. It’s not clear from the spec when and how long account and transaction information is stored.

The reliance on trusted, independent hardware seems like the weak link here, and all it will take is a few hackers (on their own or backed by bank and credit interests) to make public a tool that fools either brokers or merchants into thinking a transaction has taken place. Not a trivial task, but far from impossible. This gives the whole system a bad smell for anyone looking to adopt it. Credit card fraud is rampant, admittedly, but that’s more a function of the system’s widespread use and acceptance. MintChip doesn’t have the advantage of being accepted everywhere.

Thoughts?


MintChip has gr8 potential, and anyone here that cant recognize that lives in a bitcoin bubble. bitcoin's approach to digital cash is fundamentally better, and actually is a new currency system. But this is partly why it is so hard for people to accept it.

people will see like this:
 bitcoin is wild and unfamiliar, and MintChip is the same old money they trust, in a digital form for connivance.

in any-case MintChip is exciting news, more so for bitcoiners then anyone else.


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April 05, 2012, 02:01:01 AM
 #77

the same old money they trust, in a digital form for connivance.

Freudian slip...

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April 05, 2012, 02:12:32 AM
 #78

Ok, so TechCrunch I think gave a good run down of the differences:

I'll post relevant quotes from: http://techcrunch.com/2012/04/04/royal-canadian-mints-mintchip-looks-to-officially-digitize-cash/

Quote
The Royal Canadian Mint is hoping to create such a system: a multi-platform, simple, and secure alternative to cash. Others around the net have likened it to Bitcoin, but that’s really an inapt comparison. MintChip isn’t a virtual currency, it’s a virtual wallet, something which has been tried before. But, naturally enough, they hope to succeed where others have failed. But are they writing a check they can’t cash?

Briefly, it must be explained why MintChip is nothing like Bitcoin. Bitcoin is a fundamentally different style of currency: a regulated “resource” that uses a totally different method of exchange than cash. It’s very secure in a way, but the aspects that give it that security also make it foreign to existing and familiar payment methods, and by extention, users. Furthermore, its value fluctuates wildly, making it unsuitable for everyday purchases like coffee and cab fare.

MintChip, named after the Mint, the chip enabling the system, and perhaps inadvertently the ice cream flavor, is just a way of securely exchanging Canadian dollars (or at some point, they would hope, other currencies) by means of trusted hardware and straightforward accounting. The actual chip can be fitted into a number of devices, from micro SD cards to POS systems. MintChip value is transferred onto a chip by a MintChip broker, and can then be transferred independently between chips, online or off.

They claim the system is secure and anonymous, though any system that relies on trusted hardware and intermediaries is vulnerable to spoofing and duplication. And anonymity is not an easy promise either: as long as amounts and transfers are tied to account numbers, and account numbers are tied to identities and cards used to purchase funds, anonymity is far from assured. It’s not clear from the spec when and how long account and transaction information is stored.

The reliance on trusted, independent hardware seems like the weak link here, and all it will take is a few hackers (on their own or backed by bank and credit interests) to make public a tool that fools either brokers or merchants into thinking a transaction has taken place. Not a trivial task, but far from impossible. This gives the whole system a bad smell for anyone looking to adopt it. Credit card fraud is rampant, admittedly, but that’s more a function of the system’s widespread use and acceptance. MintChip doesn’t have the advantage of being accepted everywhere.

Thoughts?


Seriously? You found this in TechCrunch? Wink It is surprisingly right on.

This is exactly how I read the web pages they provided. Yeah, it's as anonymous and secure as informing the government of your every move. If it weren't for the trust model I'd like it, probably. I do like what it will do for getting more people into the idea of 100% digital money. But, I also don't really expect everyone to jump right into the P2P trust model either.

This sounds to me like the old sci-fi promise of using "credits" in some vague electronic way.

More than anything it seems a pretty straight forward attempt at being able to digitally wiretap all financial conversations. Maybe they just want to try that out in a "small" place before they roll it out under the Federal Reserve.

(oh, yeah, TC might even be right about BTC fluctuating too wildly for spending on coffee...I'd sell coffee for BTC , though!)

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April 05, 2012, 02:20:27 AM
 #79

I just want to see if they keep the no-chargeback policy or if they will pull a Dwolla...

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April 05, 2012, 03:12:05 AM
 #80

I just want to see if they keep the no-chargeback policy or if they will pull a Dwolla...

Should we add that to the Bitcoin lexicon? First, we had Goxed (and Goxxed), then Zhoutonged, and now, pull-a-Dwolla, or would Pulla-Dwolla have a better ring to it?

Fake Quote

Quote
MintChip, once again, Pulla-Dwolla when it transferred another $1M CD from hundreds of merchant's account, with the intent of crediting their core user base.
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