Two months ago – during my enquiry to look in to the development of electronic wallets – I stumbled upon Mintchip: MintChip/Bitcoin: no processor role between payer and payee.
Today via Finextra: CANADIAN MINT DITCHES MINTCHIP DIGITAL CURRENCY PROJECT:
The Royal Canadian Mint has pulled the plug on its MintChip cloud-based digital currency and is looking to offload the business.
Reading the headlines it is easily concluded that the end of Mintchip is very near. Reading the bylines there is still a possibility Mintchip will be picked up by an other party.
While I had reservations on the dependency for dedicated chips to carry the digital currency from the start the concept it self I find highly interesting. The topology of the payments chain it allows for is a blueprint for a workable digital currency P2P setup. Especially the gateway concept opens up payments for a truly networked environment.
Studying the Mintchip topology in relation to the traditional payments chain and the reversed flow has provided
Mintchip and cryptocurrcies urge us to better understand how money and payments relate to each other. We have taken both for granted as separate topics; but they are like two sides of the same coin (pun intended): the development of money and payments go hand in hand.
An other reason Mintchip is of interest is that it entails true digital currency i.e. digital cash. It has the possibility to exchange value P2P without the need to have third party (technically) involved and can be passed on indiscriminately again without the involvement of third parties. Just like cash. The payment is the exchange of the coin / money.
This is a fundamental difference with huge consequences as compared to other types of electronic payments. These payments in a technical sense do not exchange money between the payer and the payer at all. The payer and payee and the individual transaction are dependent on third parties. Mintchip CS breaks down this interdependency. This interdependency is paid for by pelican/gatekeeper profits by all involved in the payment chains at the expense of payers and payees. Mintchip c.s. promise a way to arbitrage this lock in.
Let’s hope Mintchip is able to find a new home.
Series on electronic wallets