Digital cash replacement from Royal Canadian Mint in the works

01/05/2013 17:22

Source: Toronto Star

 

Secure chips have already made it into our credit and debit cards. Next up, they could replace pocket change.

The Royal Canadian Mint has been pushing forward with its “MintChip” prototype, a digital cash replacement aimed at transactions under $10, since it surfaced a year ago. The Crown corporation is factoring in developer feedback, hiring a product manager and consulting with the financial sector.

“I would look on it very much as an alternative, and hopefully a replacement, for physical cash,” said David Everett, the British cryptographic expert hired years ago to work on the MintChip. “Today, people obviously use coins. They use bits of metal and bits of paper. The future is obviously going to be much more electronic.”

Since 2009, funds have been put toward “improving the efficiency of Canada’s currency” and international expertise has been enlisted to develop an “eCoin” for Canada, according to internal documents, interviews and international patents.

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