Prior to the internet gaining widespread public adoption, there was an early version of a cryptocurrency. It was called ecash, from company DigiCash, founded by David Chaum. His invention suffered from one of the biggest issues that Bitcoin and subsequent cryptocurrencies have endured - lack of user-friendly interface. As the e-commerce grew with the internet, the vast majority so no value in anything other than using their credit card numbers for purchases, and ecash faded away.
But at the recent CoinDesk Consensus Singapore conference, David Chaum reveal his new start up, Elixxir. The essential function is a cryptocurrency that is constructed in a way where transaction speeds could compete with credit networks like Visa and Mastercard, while maintaining and improving on the security aspects of Bitcoin.
Roots In The Cyberpunk Movement
Some of the foundational concepts of ecash were carried on with the cyberpunk movement of the time. The loose association of computer savvy people around the globe were united by their interest in computers and the internet is often characterized by the media as the root of hacker communities and criminals using the internet for inappropriate purposes.
What goes unheard is their extreme concern with methods for maintaining freedom of access to the internet and security of users personal information. Ecash was the first expression of digital signatures using cryptography, which are used in Bitcoin and most cryptocurrency and blockchain applications.
"Cryptography is the only thing that can give power to the individual in the Information Age." - David Chaum
Two Major Innovations
New process for digital signatures - Elixxir enables a secure way for digital signatures to be signed preemptively, instead of taking up computing power from the miners and nodes with each transaction.
"There's no way we can get speed and scalability if for every transaction a server has to do a public key operation like making a signature or checking a signature” - David Chaum
Quantum Resistance - Many see the downfall of cryptocurrencies as the advent of quantum computing. This refers to the jump from current computers that are based on physical transistors with binary computing structure, meaning only zeros and ones, to computers capable of handling zeros, ones or both simultaneously. This increases computing capacity infinitely, and would ultimately break down current cryptographic security methods. Chaum claims the specific cryptography used for the Elixxir protocol is quantum proof
"The bigger aim is to create the expectation of the broader public for fundamental human rights – digital rights in their ability to control all these aspects of their digital lives.” - David Chaum
By: BGN Editorial Staff