[cap-talk] Scope/span of capability systems (esp. as data), network reach

Karp, Alan H alan.karp at hp.com
Thu Mar 5 13:00:08 EST 2009

Marcus Brinkmann wrote:
> So let me see how you think it could work out.  Let's assume your vision is
> realized, then it should be possible, I guess (if not, why not?), that you
> send me per email a capability that designates the authority to make deposits
> to your bank account (presumably in a US bank).  I further assume
> that I can get or already  have a capability to my bank account (in a German national
> bank) that allows to make withdrawals.  Would I be able to use these two
> capabilities to transfer 1 EUR from my account to yours?  Where is the service
> located that I would need to use to do that?  Who owns and runs that service,
> and who pays for it?  Who regulates it?
We have developed a protocol for a cell phone payment system that does the job by turning the problem around.  You send me a capability to withdraw 1 EUR from your account.  I deposit the money in my account by giving that capability to my bank.  My bank does whatever it does today for international currency transfers and deposits the proceeds minus any fees into my account.  We have designed the protocol to have minimal impact on the back-end processing.

Alan Karp
Principal Scientist
Virus Safe Computing Initiative
Hewlett-Packard Laboratories
1501 Page Mill Road
Palo Alto, CA 94304
(650) 857-3967, fax (650) 857-7029

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