I'm wondering if bitcoin's design currently allows for other transport mechanisms? When I think about taking BitCoin mainstream, I can't help but think about the pervasiveness of email. Even my grandfather, and some farmers have email addresses and know how to send small attachments. Can bitcoins safely be sent and received as an attachment in an email?
I know there are some issues with this concept (and of course anonymity would be compromised), but I feel like if we could start sending and receiving BTC through the normal channels that everyday people use, we could really boost their value and presence.
The Open Transactions post http://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=847.0
by fellowtraveler got me thinking about it.
You could issue a Bitcoin-backed currency on an Open Transactions server. (Actually the same issuer could issue the same bitcoin-backed currency onto multiple Open Transactions servers.)
You would be able to prove at all times whether the issuer actually has the bitcoins to back the issue, since the bitcoin trail is publicly audit-able.
From there, you can write cheques in Bitcoins and email them to people. You can withdraw cash in Bitcoins and email it to people. You could also use Bitcoins to trade on markets for other asset types (I'm coding markets and 2-way trades right now, as well as re-occurring billing.)
You could also do account transfers with Bitcoins, and get Cashier's cheques denominated in Bitcoins.
The whole idea with OT is to allow you to do these things with ANY asset type -- and multiple asset types. Bitcoins is really only an example. But a very interesting one, since Bitcoins are publicly audit-able.