Rachel Willmer, CEO of Ediburgh-based Internet payments company Intertrader has purchased the first digital dollar issued by Anguilla's Hansa Bank. The event marks the arrival of a new electronic currency based on the Systemics' Ricardo system, which is soon to be integrated as a fully supported payment method within the Intertrader CashBox payment management system.
The Hansa Bank digital dollar is backed 100% by hard cash held in a reserve account at Hansa Bank so as to eliminate financial and credit risks. For every digital dollar issued, the Ricardian contract requires the reserves to match that with a dollar on account at the bank.
Lynwood Bell, chairman of Hansa Bank and associated technology incubator Hansa.net Global Commerce, says: "This adds no risk to the bank's operations...Holding reserves that are one to one with the issued instrument does more to reduce systemic risk in financial systems than any other innovation."
According to Willmer, the CashBox suite of supported payment instruments will soon be enlarged to offer the online dollar and other Ricardian contracts, alongside Mondex and e-gold.
Intertrader recently released Version 2 of CashBox, which delivers a solution for payment service providers wishing to acquire Mondex and e-gold value. Version 1 of the CashBox system was used by Bank of Scotland in 1999 in a pilot of a pay-for-use Internet-access system. Intertrader recently announced a strategic alliance with Systemics for joint marketing of their combined systems worldwide.