Electronic Cash, Before Bitcoin

4 minute read


FirstVirtual and CyberCash

  • Early History of Digital Cash and Cryptocurrency
    • In 1994, FirstVirtual offered online payments, like paypal, via e-mail.
    • 1994 - CyberCash - utilizing SET architecture to provide micro-payments

      Secure electronic transaction (SET) was an early protocol for electronic credit card payments. As the name implied, SET was used to facilitate the secure transmission of consumer credit card information via electronic avenues, such as the Internet. SET blocked out the details of credit card information, thus preventing merchants, hackers and electronic thieves from accessing this information. -investopedia

  • CyberCash Credit Card Protocol Version 0.8


  • NetCheque, NetCash, and the Characteristics of Internet Payment Services ‘95

    Secure methods of payment are needed before we will see widespread commercial use of the Internet. Recently proposed and implemented payment methods follow one of three models: electronic currency, credit-debit, and secure credit card transactions. Such payment services have different strengths and weaknesses with respect to the requirements of security, reliability, scalability, anonymity, acceptability, customer base, reliability, convertibility, efficiency, ease of integration with applications, and ease of use. NetCheque and NetCash are payment systems under development at the Information Sciences Institute of the University of Southern California. NetCheque and NetCash are described and their strengths with respect to these requirements are discussed.


Project CAFÉ


In April 2007, the US government ordered e-gold administration to lock approximately 58 e-gold accounts, including ones owned by The Bullion Exchange, AnyGoldNow, IceGold, GitGold, The Denver Gold Exchange, GoldPouch Express, 1MDC (a Digital Gold Currency, based on e-gold), and forced OmniPay’s owner, G&SR, to liquidate the seized assets.-Bitcoiners: Remember what happened to eGold



Beenz and Flooz

An early clickworking site that rewarded users with its own digital currency.





Reusable Proof of Work

  • Subject: RPOW - Reusable Proofs of Work -03 [ϟ]

    This system receives hashcash as a Proof of Work (POW) token, and in exchange creates RSA-signed tokens which I call Reusable Proof of Work (RPOW) tokens. RPOWs can then be transferred from person to person and exchanged for new RPOWs at each step. Each RPOW or POW token can only be used once but since it gives birth to a new one, it is as though the same token can be handed from person to person.

  • Use me Baby one more Time
  • https://github.com/NakamotoInstitute/RPOW
  • https://slashdot.org/story/04/08/18/1345258/rpow—reusable-proofs-of-work
  • » More Information on Hal Finney »

Bit Gold

Liberty Reserve

  • https://www.aol.com/on/digital-currency-liberty-reserve-money-laundering/
  • https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-36247289
  • https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/founder-liberty-reserve-pleads-guilty-laundering-more-250-million-through-his-digital
  • https://www.reuters.com/article/net-us-cybercrime-digital-currency-idUSBRE9780GM20130809