PETER MENZEL / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY PETER MENZEL / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
David Chaum, inventor of DigiCash - digital money that can be used to buy goods over the internet. A former computing professor at Stanford University, USA, Chaum is now managing director of a Dutch company that aims to establish the first global electronic currency. Current financial transactions across the internet depend on sending a credit card number to the vendor, which exposes the buyer to the risk of credit card fraud by electronic eavesdroppers. Chaum's system uses "cyberbucks" encrypted by a software "key" held by the spender. The system is claimed to be secure as the decryption process cannot be used to work out the secret encrypting code. Photographed in 1995.
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