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                             E-Cash and Amiga
  Jonathan Gapen                                      innuendo@execpc.com
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I heartily agree that a good "electronic cash" system could do wonders for
the Amiga market, but I believe that the shareware sector would benefit
much more than software companies and retailers.

As with most Amiga users, I think, I use quite a number of high-quality
shareware programs, but without paying the fee.  Of course I mean to reg=
ister "some day," but some day always seems a few weeks in the future.  
Why?  In part because of limited funds, I have to wait to earn the money
before I= can spend it.  However, the larger barrier is the effort
involved, especially for authors in other countries.  Banks charge large
fees for cashing personl checks from other countries, so you have to pay
for a wire transfer, or go to the US Postal Service to buy a money order. 
(For ShapeShifter, I simply wrapped cash in stiff cardboard, to avoid the
bother.)

Recently, I purchased a license for Holger Kruse's excellent Miami.  While
I would have bought it anyway, the on-line registration with First Virtual
made the whole process painless.  So painless, in fact, that I purchased a
Magic User Interface key file the next day, through SASG's on-line order
WWW page.

With a number of the proposed "e-cash" standards, this process would get
even easier, since there would be no need to go through First Virtual, or
waiting for a charge verification on a credit account.  Instead, you would
simply "spend" the e-cash issued to you by First Virtual, or your bank.
It's secure, no one else can spend it but you, and attempting to spend it
twice alerts the bank to e-cash fraud.  It's as fast as handing over paper
bank notes.

Retailers and software companies may benefit from e-cash, but to be
successful, they already need to accept payment by credit card.  They don't
suffer from inconvenient transfer of money now, so making that process
simpler won't give them the same benefits as the shareware authors of the
world.