Anguilla Local News

Financial Cryptography 98 - Big Success

  From the Anguilla Local News - Site Map.

[Click for larger view of Victor Banks] The Financial Cryptography conference was held again in Anguilla recently. Delegates came from as far as Europe, Australia and Asia to attend this technical conference. The local organizer of FC98 is Vince Cate of Offshore Information Services.

"Financial Cryptography" is the application of secret encoding to money and commerce. It covers such topics as buying things on the Internet, Smart Cards that provide a digital purse, and questions of privacy: how much will others know about our purchases in the future.

Anguilla's Minister of Finance, Mr. Victor Banks (see picture right), delivered the opening address to the delegates, which was topical and lively, in which he compared the current revolution in Internet to Anguilla's bloodless revolution of 30 years ago.

Invited speaker at this year's conference was Dr. David Chaum of Digicash (see picture below), who invented the idea of digital money and holds many of the key patents. His speach and question and answer session were high points. An after-hours crowd pleaser was the demonstration of the Java Ring wearable computer from Sunsoft, a complete $10 computer on a ring that you can plug into any PC using a $15 reader.
[Click to enlarge David Chaum]

The conference was held at the Chandeliers Room of the Inter-Island Hotel. Delegates were hosted at a cocktail party on Shoal Bay at Serenity Restaurant, sponsored by Hansa Bank of Anguilla. Another night they had a BBQ at Rafe's and on Thursday most of them cruised on a large catamarran to see the total solar eclipse.

Attendances was up from 70 last year to 115 this year. I went to the conference to learn something new and I can report that the delegates were not just lounging on the beach - they attended all the technical sessions, even "Secure Group Barter: Multi-Party Fair Exchange with Semi-Trusted Neutral Parties" and "A Platform for Privately Defined Currencies, Loyalty Credits, and Play Money." Attendees said it was one of the best conferences they had ever been to and there was a clear preference to return to Anguilla again as the venue for 1999.

 Revised: March 04, 1998

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Copyright 1998. Bob Green
Anguilla Local News