As Bitcoin continues its move towards the mainstream and Bitcoin businesses experience rocky relations with bankers and regulators, now is a good time to look at previous leaders in the digital currency world.
In the late 90’s and early 2000’s, e-gold was the industry leader. As one of the world’s first successful online payment systems e-gold was a pioneer using many now standard practices such as SSL connections and API’s. Brought down by a run in with regulators in 2008 the e-gold story is required reading for anyone involved in the digital currency world.
Sent in by Wikipedia editor Cadwallader, below is a thoroug review of the e-gold story.
The 2013 San Jose Bitcoin Conference has proven to be rather controversial. While it is considered to have been a success, being well attended and attracting high profile speakers, it has brought up a very divisive topic in the Bitcoin community…regulation.
Digital Gold Currency is a fantastic idea. Gold enjoys thousands of years of history as an excellent currency and store of value. It is a form of money that is constantly chosen by the market and that needs no legislation to support its value. Gold is stable, solid and cannot be pulled out of thin air. With modern technology gold can be used as a currency online without any more effort than it takes to check your email. Brilliant!
But as DGC’s were starting to take off and be recognized for their many benefits, the rug was pulled out from under the industry with the prosecution of e-gold. The old DGC business model is centralized and vulnerable to seizure, censorship and prohibitive regulation.
The Voucher-Safe system allows for a more decentralized, Anti-Money Laundering compliant way to anonymously exchange value. It’s DGC 2.0, a more flexible and resilient system where anything can be money. “The idea behind voucher-safe is that it isn’t about making just one thing money. Money can be gold, it can be existing national fiat currencies, it can be bitcoins, it can be silver, it can be anything of value that people want to exchange.”
Shadow Life is a new website dedicated to “Privacy – how to protect it and why it matters.” The creators of the site are strong supporters of Bitcoin and recently put up a post detailing what they believe to be necessary conditions for the long-term success of Bitcoin.