DigiCash Inc. was an electronic money corporation founded by David Chaum in 1989. DigiCash transactions were unique in that they were anonymous because of the number of cryptographic protocols developed by its founder. DigiCash declared bankruptcy in 1998 and subsequently sold its assets to eCash Technologies, another digital currency company InfoSpace acquired on February 19, 2002.
David Chaum is associated with the invention of Blind Signature Technology. In 1982, while studying at the University of California at Berkeley, Chaum wrote a paper describing technological advances in public and private key technologies to create this blind signature technology. Chaum’s Blind Signature technology has been designed to ensure the full privacy of users performing online transactions. Chaum dealt with public nature and open access to online payments and personal information. He then proposed to build a cryptographic protocol system in which a bank or government would be unable to track personal payments made online. This technology was fully implemented in 1990 through Chaum’s DigiCash.
DigiCash was a form of early electronic payment that required user software to withdraw banknotes from the bank and to identify specific encrypted keys before being sent to the recipient. This progress in public and private key cryptography allows the issuing bank, government or third party to receive electronic payments so that they cannot be detected. This Blind Signatures system through DigiCash software has improved the security of its users by issuing secure keys that prevented third parties from accessing personal information through online transactions. Mark Twain Bank, which was later acquired by Mercantile Bank, based in Missouri, was the only DigiCash system in the US. Germany-based Deutsche Bank was the second DigiCash backing bank.
DigiCash was unable to successfully expand the company by expanding its user base. Chaum said in an interview in 1999 that DigiCash and its technology system entered the market before e-commerce was fully integrated into the Internet. In 1998 DigiCash bankrupt Chapter 11 and in 2002 the company was sold for assets