[fc-discuss] Financial Cryptography Update: Wikicrypto

iang@iang.org iang@iang.org
Sat, 1 Oct 2005 13:44:26 +0100 (BST)

((((((((((((((( Financial Cryptography Update: Wikicrypto )))))))))))))))

                            October 01, 2005




A while ago, Matt pointed me to several links in Wikipedia on "Project
Cryptography", crypto topics1, 2, digital signatures, etc etc.


All could do with some updating, but that's the nature of Wikis, right?

Which reminds me to check in and post the current definition of
Financial Cryptography, that breed of crypto that might not include any

Financial cryptography (FC) is the use of cryptography in applications
with strong financial motivation.

The field found its original inspiration in the work of Dr David Chaum
who invented the blinded signature. This special form of a
cryptographic signature permitted a coin to be signed without the
signer seeing the actual coin, and permitted a form of digital token
money that offered untraceability. This form is some known as Digital

The term "financial cryptography" was coined by Hettinga to encompass
that innovation and also all of the other potential ways in which
cryptography could lead to finance applications. These applications
include a very wide range of possibilities, including finance, retail
payment systems, trading, digital rights management (DRM), virtual
gaming, reputational systems, community currencies, and access and
authentication systems.

As a business, FC followed the guide of cryptography and only the
simplest ideas were adopted. Account money systems protected by SSL
such as PayPal, e-gold and GoldMoney were relatively successful, but
DRM, blinded token money and efforts by banks were not.

Financial cryptography is frequently seen as of broad scope. Grigg sees
financial cryptograpy in seven layers [1], being the combination of
seven distinct disciplines: cryptography, software engineering, rights,
accounting, governance, value, and financial applications. Business
failures can often be traced to missing disciplines or poor application
of same. This view has FC as a crossdiscipline subject.

Don't like it?	Then change it:


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