When Gold Bugs and Reality Meet
A Wired story on the rise and fall of E-Gold:
In a sparsely decorated office suite two floors above a neighborhood of strip malls and car dealerships, former oncologist Douglas Jackson is struggling to resuscitate a dying dream.
Jackson, 51, is the maverick founder of E-Gold, the first-of-its-kind digital currency that was once used by millions of people in more than a hundred countries. Today the currency is barely alive.
Stacks of cardboard evidence boxes in the office, marked “U.S. Secret Service,” help explain why, as does the pager-sized black box strapped to Jackson’s ankle: a tracking device that tells his probation officer whenever he leaves or enters his home.
“It’s supposed to be jail,” he says. “Only it’s self-administered.”
There are some remarkable parallels between this story and the Paypal Wars. Contrary to the hopes of the cypherpunk and cryptoanarchist movements, on-line payments systems have not been able to effectively challenge the power of the state. I would agree with Richard Timberlake’s assessment (quoted in the linked article) of the original intentions behind E-Gold.
posted on 10 June 2009 by skirchner in Economics, Financial Markets, Gold, Monetary Policy
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