The Evolution of Digital Cash

Digital Cash Today

Bitcoin and Other Digital Assets Are Different

The Evolution of Digital Cash — Fidelity Digital Assets

A Look Back at Digital Cash

  • DigiCash (1989): by David Chaum was a form of centralized “electronic money” that deployed the same kinds of cryptographic protocols — public key cryptography — that support the untraceable (but verifiable) nature of bitcoin transactions. It is often called “Chaumian eCash.”
  • Hashcash (1997): by Adam Back was initially conceived as a mechanism to limit email spam by forcing email senders to solve computational puzzles, it never saw widespread use as either a spam protection mechanism and despite the name hashcash, was never a financial instrument. Bitcoin re-purposed these proof-of-work (PoW) puzzles to become the basis of bitcoin mining.
  • B-money proposal (1998): by Wei Dai explored how to create anonymous, distributed systems in which money was created by the Hashcash PoW algorithm.
  • The Bit Gold proposal (1998): by Nick Szabo outlined an algorithmic approach for posting transactions containing PoW to servers which must agree to these transaction. This same ‘consensus model’ is now built into the Bitcoin blockchain.
  • Re-usable Proofs of Work (RPOW) (2004): by Hal Finney was an attempt to make Proofs of Work into exchangeable tokens. Hal Finney later became the first person to receive a Bitcoin transaction from the creator Satoshi Nakamoto.

The Evolution of Digital Cash




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Fidelity Digital Assets

Fidelity Digital Assets

Institutional Solutions for a new asset class.

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