E-cash and virtual currency as alternative payment methods

Greene, Claire; Shy, Oz
September 2014
Journal of Payments Strategy & Systems;Autumn2014, Vol. 8 Issue 3, p274
Academic Journal
This paper describes e-cash and virtual currencies and analyses their differences as alternative means of payment. E-cash, the digital equivalent of government-issued physical notes and coins, is stored on a chip carried by consumers and merchants. Virtual currencies are not backed by sovereign governments and are mostly used online. E-cash is fu lly exchangeable to government- backed currency at a one-to-one ratio; virtual currency may not be. For both, the lack of broad acceptance for payment currently limits their use. To succeed, digital currencies need to achieve a critical mass of consumers and merchants willing to use them.


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