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[ISN] Ron Rivest; Microcash on the Internet, Deep Crack = MicroMint?
From: cult hero (jerichodimensional.com)
Date: Tue May 11 1999 - 21:53:34 CDT
Forwarded From: Robert Hettinga <rahshipwright.com>
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The Digital Commerce Society of Boston
Dr. Ronald L. Rivest
Underwriting Microcash on the Internet:
Deep Crack = MicroMint?
Tuesday, June 1st, 1999
12 - 2 PM
The Downtown Harvard Club of Boston
One Federal Street, Boston, MA
MicroMint is a low security, high speed micropayment protocol based on
k-way hash-function collisions. Just like an industrial mint, a MicroMint
underwriter's economies of scale allow the production of large quantities
of 'coins' at very low cost per coin, while small-scale forgery attempts
can only produce coins at a cost exceeding their value. Unlike digital
signature methods, a large initial investment is required to generate the
first MicroMint coin, but generating additional coins is exponentially
cheaper the more you produce. A true 'off-line' protocol, MicroMint
produces a simple bit-string whose validity can be easily checked.
The time to market for a possible MicroMint machine has been accelerated
recently with the discovery that a MicroMint prototype has inadvertently
been built already. "Deep Crack" is a custom-built DES-cracking machine
built by Cryptography Research, Inc., for the Electronic Frontier
Foundation. "Deep Crack" was built to prove that DES, the Data Encryption
Standard, can be broken cheaply enough to make it unusuable for most
purposes, especially in finance. At the 1999 International Conference on
Financial Cryptography, MicroMint developers Ron Rivest and Adi Shamir --
two of the three developers of RSA public key cryptography -- showed how,
with a few modifications, "Deep Crack" could be used to generate MicroMint
There is now interest in building a much larger commercial version of
MicroMint. Putting a MicroMint machine on the web and linking it to
existing cash-settlement financial networks like the Automatic Teller or
Automated Clearinghouse systems, and a few regulatory changes, would allow
one to withdraw and deposit MicroMint-based microcash from the internet in
the same way that one could withdraw and deposit cash from an ATM.
MicroMint coins could be used to pay for many small-value products and
services, like MP3 files, streaming audio and video, controlled-access
web-page content, value-added email postage, internet access, telephony
and, possibly, with the incorporation of TCP/IP into power lines,
electricity itself, someday. The ability to settle such transactions
instantaneously and for cash should significantly reduce the
administrative, financial, legal, and even engineering cost of anything
sold on the internet.
Ronald L. Rivest is the Webster Professor of Electrical Engineering and
Computer Science in MIT's Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer
Science. He is an Associate Director of MIT's Laboratory for Computer
Science, is a member of the lab's Theory of Computation Group and is a
leader of its Cryptography and Information Security Group.
Professor Rivest is an inventor of the RSA public-key cryptosystem, and a
founder of RSA Data Security (now a subsidiary of Security Dynamics). He
has served a Director of the International Association for Cryptologic
Research, the organizing body for the Eurocrypt and Crypto conferences, and
as a founding Director of the International Financial Cryptography
Association, the organizing body for the International Conference on
Professor Rivest is a Fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery and
of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and is also a member of the
National Academy of Engineering.
This meeting of the Digital Commerce Society of Boston will be held
on Tuesday, June 1, 1999, from 12pm - 2pm at the Downtown Branch of
the Harvard Club of Boston, on One Federal Street. The price for
lunch is $32.50. This price includes lunch, room rental, various A/V
hardware, and the speakers' lunch. The Harvard Club *does* have
dress code: jackets and ties for men (and no sneakers or jeans), and
"appropriate business attire" (whatever that means), for women. Fair
warning: since we purchase these luncheons in advance, we will be
unable to refund the price of your lunch if the Club finds you in
violation of the dress code.
We need to receive a company check, or money order, (or, if we
*really* know you, a personal check) payable to "The Harvard Club of
Boston", by Saturday, May 29th, or you won't be on the list for
lunch. Checks payable to anyone else but The Harvard Club of Boston
will have to be sent back.
Checks should be sent to Robert Hettinga, 44 Farquhar Street, Boston,
Massachusetts, 02131. Again, they *must* be made payable to "The
Harvard Club of Boston", in the amount of $32.50. Please include your
e-mail address so that we can send you a confirmation
If anyone has questions, or has a problem with these arrangements
(We've had to work with glacial A/P departments more than once, for
instance), please let us know via e-mail, and we'll see if we can
work something out.
Upcoming speakers for DCSB are:
July Tim Middelkoop Software Agents and Digital Commerce
We are actively searching for future speakers. If you are in Boston
on the first Tuesday of the month, and you are a principal in digital
commerce, and would like to make a presentation to the Society,
please send e-mail to the DCSB Program Commmittee, care of Robert
Hettinga, <mailto: rahshipwright.com>.
For more information about the Digital Commerce Society of Boston,
send "info dcsb" in the body of a message to <mailto:
majordomoai.mit.edu> . If you want to subscribe to the DCSB e-mail
list, send "subscribe dcsb" in the body of a message to <mailto:
We look forward to seeing you there!
The Digital Commerce Society of Boston
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Robert A. Hettinga <mailto: rahphilodox.com>
Philodox Financial Technology Evangelism <http://www.philodox.com/>
44 Farquhar Street, Boston, MA 02131 USA
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