Richard Stallman’s GNU (gnunet.org) and French computing institute Inria have released the initial code for an “electronic payment system,” which is “unlike BitCoin or cash.”
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GNU’s ‘Not for the Black Market’ Taler
The project, dubbed Taler (for Taxable Anonymous Libre Electronic Reserve), is designed “for the mainstream economy, and not the black market,” its website explains.
Taler, according to the current available literature, is aimed at providing as much a solution to mainstream organizations’ use of parallel payment systems as for customers. While sounding similar to cryptocurrency, the ethos behind the project suggests an attempt to distance itself from Bitcoin.
The website states:
Unlike BitCoin or cash payments, Taler ensures that governments can learn their citizen’s total income and thus collect sales, value-added or income taxes.”
Nonetheless, the system ensures anonymity for users, who will ultimately use coins as a stand-in for national currencies and be free from exposure to any volatility inherent in a new cryptocurrency.
“When you pay with Taler, your identity does not have to be revealed to the merchant. The bank, government and exchange will also never learn how you spent your electronic money,” it is