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First Issue 15 May 2004
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Third Issue 10 September 2004
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Fourth Issue 19 September 2004
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Fifth Issue 26 September 2004
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Sixth Issue 3 October 2004
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Seventh Issue 12 October 2004
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Eighth Issue 21 October 2004
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Ninth Issue 28 October 2004
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Tenth Issue 4 November 2004
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Eleventh Issue 22 November 2004
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The Indomitus Report

31 January 2005
Status Report on Free Market Money

    "The coin is a delicate meter of civil, social, and moral changes...It is the finest barometer of social storms, and announces revolutions."
    - Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1860,
    "Essay on Wealth"

The start of the year is a fine time to assess the status of the free market money industry. The year 2004 saw remarkable growth in the volume of precious metals under management, the services available for free market money, and the features presented by free market money systems. We also saw some failures, most notably the evaporation of the evocash system after many years of successful operation.

Approximately eighty-five million dollars ($85M) of free market money is now in circulation. Approximately 1.3 million users form the substance of the user community.

Based on figures near the end of January 2005, we believe that approximately $8.5 million per day is circulated among the major systems, which aggregates to $3.1 billion per year. The following charts illustrate the market shares among the major players by value in circulation and by users. Notably, 1MDC is not shown in either chart, both because they release no aggregate statistics on users or value stored and because all users of 1MDC are e-gold users; all value stored by 1MDC is stored by e-gold. The e-dinar is also not represented, as we have not been provided any figures for them.


market shares of value stored

market shares of users

Precious Metal in Circulation
Metal Ounces (Grams) US$ Value (29 Jan 2005)
Gold 175,627.78   (5,462,634.37) $74,676,931.39
Silver 1,322,572.25   (41,136,595.29) $8,953,814.13
Platinum 400.00 (12,441.39) $348,000.00
Palladium 396.47 (12,331.69) $75,329.30
Other N/A $710,419.51
Total N/A $84,764,494.33


e-gold logo

e-gold

Industry elder e-gold.com continues to have the largest number of accounts. We think there are several factors to account for this lead in activity. First, there is the referral fee. E-gold reliably pays referral fees or "incentive fees" to existing customers who sign up new users. Second, there is the first mover advantage. Having been around since 1996 does help. Many people have heard of e-gold, and e-gold is routinely mentioned when online gold payments are mentioned. Third, there is functional pseudonymity. It isn't clear that actual anonymity is possible with e-gold, given their IP tracking methods. Fourth, e-gold continues to be used, willingly or not, for various activities such as Ponzi schemes which generate a large number of users, and dust spamming which generates a large number of micro-funded accounts.

E-gold currently has 60,173.4 fine troy ounces of gold in the vaults, which has a value of about $26.36 million as we write this essay. In grams, e-gold has 1.87 million grams of gold in circulation.

e-gold silver logo

The e-gold system is the original multi-metal platform. They have vaulted 138,567.25 ounces of silver valued at about $941K. There are 400 ounces of platinum in the e-gold system, or about $341K. There are 396.47 ounces of palladium in storage, for about $69K. All found, the value of metal they store is worth about $27.7 million.

The e-gold system continues to offer the most statistics and the least credibility. We were distinctly unimpressed by information about third parties, found no published audits by independent parties, nor information on corporate governance suggesting multi-party control nor checks and balances. It is unclear from our review what the escrow agent does.

The e-gold statistics page shows 1,713,029 accounts in existence as of the end of 2004. Within the previous 24 hours, 1,239 new accounts had been created; 14,043 accounts were accessed; 17,870 spend events took place. Extrapolating from the account access figure suggests that perhaps as many as 100,000 e-gold accounts are used each week.

Velocity over the prior 24 hours ended 31 December 2004 had been 81.7 kilograms of gold, or the dollar equivalent of $1.15 million. This figure suggests that as much as $420 million of economic activity takes place through the e-gold system, although we admit that New Year's Eve may not be the most typical 24 hour period of activity. E-gold velocity surged in January 2005, with a figure for the 24 hours ending 28 January 2005 of $1.897 million in gold spend activity.

The spending pattern in the 24 hours prior to 31 December 2004 shows the plurality of financial activity in just 102 spends of 27.63 kilos gold, being the activity for all spends 100 grams to 1 kilo. Another 9 spends accounted for 27.55 kilos gold being shifted in one kilo to ten kilo batches. The plurality of spend events took place in the 10 milligram to 100 milligram range - 5,456 spends accounting for 201.67 grams of gold transferred. One hundred milligrams is one tenth of a gram, or about $1.41 at the price of gold on 31 December 2004.

Using that figure as a cut-off, the e-gold system saw 11,593 spend events smaller than $1.41 on 31 December 2004. Over half of these events were smaller than $0.14. We suspect that many or all of these payments are incentive payments of some form, such as pay to read, referral fee, or activity commissions. Commissions may be paid by innocuous exchange services, as GoldAge.net does and perhaps OmniPay may do, and commissions may also be paid by various nefarious enterprises such as Ponzi schemes. Spammers seem to try to attract attention to their web sites by sending a miniscule payment with a memo indicating their web site address. Some of these web addresses offer products and services, others engage in fraudulent Ponzi schemes, and some may even offer warez or hostile software.

When we've formed new e-gold accounts in the last year or two, we've noticed milligram or so payments appear a few days to weeks later. This activity suggests that anyone forming an account, whether intending to use it or not, gets a dusting of gold, silver, or palladium. Spammers have access to "bulk spending" software from various third party vendors which allows them to send large volumes of spends to the e-gold server. Simply putting in all the account numbers numerically from some value would allow all new accounts to receive payments, with the few non-working accounts being rejected by the e-gold server without slowing things down. We think e-gold's change in payment receive fee calculation at the beginning of 2004 may have been intended to capture more revenue from such activity, but because it affects receivers and not spenders, this change cannot discourage such activity.

These small payments are numerous, but involve very small economic units. For amounts less than a tenth gram, 11,593 spend events account for just 223 grams of gold moved, or about $3,141 of economic activity. For amounts between a tenth gram and ten grams, 5,542 events occurred and accounted for 8,580 grams of gold or nearly $121,000 of activity. For amounts greater than 10 grams, just 699 events took place, moving a total of over a million dollars of value (72,900 grams of gold).

E-gold accounts may have one metal or up to four metals in them. There are 857,046 accounts with some amount of gold, 664,448 with some amount of silver, 3,715 with some amount of platinfum, and 161,518 with some amount of palladium. Spammers may account for a very large number of these accounts with silver and palladium, as they make trivial payments to try to draw attention to their sites.

E-gold average funded balances are 2.18 grams of gold, 6.49 grams of silver, 3.32 grams of platinum, and 75.89 milligrams of palladium. Arbitrarily assigning a value of $0.14 to be an economically interesting amount of money to store, there are 306,823 accounts with at least that much gold in them; there are 3,077 accounts with that much or more silver; 1,252 accounts with at least that much platinum; and 830 accounts with at least that much palladium. The fact that the vast majority of silver and palladium accounts have 0 to 10 milligrams of dust in them seems to confirm that spammers are dusting accounts to attempt to attract attention to their web sites. Ten milligrams of silver is worth about two tenths of a cent. The same is also true of the majority of funded gold accounts, possibly for the same reason.

Since there is more activity among gold users, it is at least possible that some of these accounts with gold dust in them may be accounts used for a while, empty now, and destined to be used again. However, we think few companies or individuals would be that careful with their accounting, and "empty" accounts are more likely to have some amount such as fourteen cents in them.

One of the upshots of all this published statistical information on e-gold.com is the calculability of the company's revenues. The payment receive fee formula combined with the e-gold statistics yields e-gold revenue, as described by Craig on this site. Identified by one industry enthusiast as the best page on the web, the site loads the e-gold statistics data and displays it as a scatter chart of daily revenue, with a moving average in red.

Of course, the page cannot establish OmniPay.net exchange fee revenue, which would likely be where the real money is found. At a conference in April 2002, one of the founders described e-gold as the monk in a cloister on bread and water that made possible the system from which OmniPay extracts substantial wealth.

Doug Jackson image used with permission

The founder of e-gold, Doug Jackson, continues as company chairman. Other key figures at the group of companies are director Barry Downey and Jim Ray. The group of related companies are Gold & Silver Reserve, OmniPay.net, and e-gold, Ltd.

Dr. Jackson's online biography indicates that he is board certified in radiation oncology with an M.D. from Penn State in 1982. He completed residency in 1986 and then served as a Major in the U.S. Army Medical Corps at Fort Sam Houston Texas through 1992. In 1995, he conceived of e-gold as a payment system. The e-gold system was deployed online in November 1996. Since 1998, Doug has been full time with e-gold.

Barry K. Downey is a lawyer who co-founded the e-gold enterprise, now serving as secretary, vice president, and director. He is a founding partner of Smith & Downey, and practices law in Maryland and the District of Columbia; he's also been admitted to practice before the US Supreme Court. He has co-authored two books on deferred compensation.

A significant event this year for e-gold was the implementation on 1 January 2004 of the micropayment initiative for online digital content. This change in their payment receive fee calculation was explained by Doug Jackson on 17 December 2003 in a rare message to the e-gold discussion list. Jackson noted, "in the past, extremely small value (less than a penny) silver payments were permitted despite both the transaction amount (and especially the fee) being so tiny as to serve no consequential economic purpose." The fee cap was adjusted to a weight based cap from a 50 cents equivalence. The new fees start by capturing 5% of the tiniest payments plus a fixed amount of whatever metal was spent, presumably to benefit from it economically; economically significant spends of a tenth gram cost 1.25% plus a fixed amount of metal; substantial payments over 5 grams of gold incur a capped fee of 0.05 grams, or about 70 cents.

Another significant event for e-gold this year was the announced separation of e-dinar.com. The e-dinar system is discussed below. A third significant event for 2004 was the advent of the AccSent security feature, which tracks the IP addresses used for logging in and requires interaction with the user's registered e-mail address to gain a PIN code when the IP address has changed. (Naturally, we view this development as evidence that e-gold has been logging IP addresses right along, suggesting a privacy limitation for users.)

We continue to suggest against e-gold for our American readers, given the placement of the servers in the USA. USA privacy laws are somewhat better for foreigners. For Americans, the 1MDC system continues to offer offshore data hosting for e-gold users.

Liberty Dollar logo

Liberty Dollar

Second on the scene was the Liberty Dollar which entered the market in 1998 as NORFED or the "National Organization for the Repeal of the Federal Reserve Act and the IRS" which has operated from the norfed.org and LibertyDollar.org web sites. The first paper warehouse receipts and silver pieces were issued by NORFED in October 1998. The Liberty Dollar is a free market currency available in circulating specie, paper warehouse receipts, and digital form, the only one we know offering all three major monetary forms.

The Idaho accounting firm of Clark, Anderson, McNelis & Co. audits the American Liberty Currency for NORFED. Their last audit, for October 2004 shown on the Liberty Dollar web site indicates that 90,919 ounces of paper and digital warehouse receipts for silver are in circulation. These ounces are assigned an exchange rate of $10, so about $909K of paper and digital warehouse receipts are in circulation. In addition, 19,751 ounces of silver have been redeemed for warehouse receipts bringing the total to well over a million dollars. The warehouse has 50 ounces of gold corresponding to $500 warehouse receipts, and a further 37 of these have been redeemed. (The warehouse is Shelter Systems of Coeur d'Alene, Idaho.)

examples of Liberty Dollars in paper warehouse receipts, silver, gold

Estimates vary widely for the silver Liberty pieces in circulation. A recent estimate of one million pieces each marked $10 suggests about $10 million in specie and another $0.9 million in paper or digital warehouse receipts for a total of about $10.9 million in silver in circulation. Using the same proportion for gold pieces in circulation compared to the published figures for gold warehouse receipts suggests another $129K of specie and warehouse receipts for gold, plus an unknown number of silver pieces of $5 and $1 denominations. By year-old estimates, as many as 100,000 users have Liberty silver or paper. All found, the volume of metal stored or in circulation is about $11 million.

Bernard von NotHaus

Bernard von NotHaus, one of the world's experts on private currencies and alternative economics, retired six years ago after 25 years as the Mintmaster at the Royal Hawaiian Mint. His work has been cataloged over the past three decades in television, radio, and print media and featured in "Super Structures: Making Money" on The Learning Channel, Paul Harvey's "News & Comment," Forbes Magazine, The Los Angeles Times, and numerous books and publications.

Von NotHaus studied Art and Architecture at Kansas State University for six years. Since 1974, when he wrote, "To Know Value - An Economic Research Paper," von NotHaus has studied economics and monetary history. In 1997 von NotHaus wrote Free Market Currency and proposed the world's first working model for an Organic Monetary Standard. In 1998, with the support of other concerned Americans, he introduced the Liberty Dollar to exemplify the principles of a free market, value-backed, private currency that is free from government control.

The Liberty Dollar Solution book cover

In 2003, he wrote The Liberty Dollar Solution to the Federal Reserve, a 500-page treatise. He is well known in the numismatic community as an original thinker who relishes the type of complex problems he encountered while designing and developing the Liberty Dollar, a money owned by the people, not the Federal Reserve.

Currently he is the Monetary Architect at NORFED a non-profit, free enterprise corporation that to date has distributed $11 million Liberty Dollars to a network of over 100,000 people and postulates Bernard's Law: "When the people own the money they control the government. When the government owns the money, it controls the people."

We continue to research significant events in 2004 for Liberty Dollar. On two separate occasions, in April and in December, the 30 day moving average for silver was near their figure of merit ($7.50) for several days before dropping back. We suspect that silver prices in 2005 may at some point hold onto a 30 day moving average of $7.50 for thirty days, at which point the Liberty Dollar would double the face value of their money. Meanwhile the amount of currency in circulation has doubled again for 2004 compared to 2003, according to private correspondence.

e-Bullion logo

e-Bullion

Third on the scene was e-Bullion which entered the market in 2000. The e-Bullion company is a registered legal corporate entity of the Republic of Panama. The reserve bullion administrator for the system is Goldfinger Bullion Reserve Corporation, a legal corporate entity of the State of Delaware. These are the people who know the precious metals trade as bullion and coin dealers for decades.

e-Bullion has 19,455 ounces of gold in reserve, and 79,305 ounces of silver. They also have $781,323.99 of e-Currency® in circulation. All found their currencies are $9.8 million of gold, silver, and dollars. Their vaults are wholly owned or leased Treasury-grade bullion storage vaults in Los Angeles, Delaware, Zurich, and Australia.

e-Bullion lion

In a 2002 interview with PlanetGold.com, Jim Fayed says he grew up near Bethesda, Maryland near Washington, D.C., went in the Navy for a couple of years, and worked for the U.S. defense department during part of the 1980's. His wife, Pamela, was in the gold casting and jewelry business when they met. Their mutual interest took Goldfinger Coin & Bullion from a part-time business to one of the larger bullion wholesalers on the West Coast. The total combined career experience of their staff works out to over 50 years in the precious metals trade.

In recent correspondence, Jim Fayed wrote, "In addition to e-Bullon being the most progressive issuer in the industry, you haven't seen anything yet. We should be rolling out further industry firsts and other enhancements to e-Bullion this year. These changes should solidify our progressive attitude." We found this comment very intriguing, and look forward to these developments later this year.

Significant events in 2004 for e-Bullion include the advent of their e-Currency®, a dollar transfer system, and the switch to a frictionless system of no transfer fees and no storage fees. E-Bullion also shifted some of their servers to Switzerland to provide enhanced financial privacy to their users.

e-dinar logo

e-dinar

Abu Bakr ibn Abi Maryam, according to the e-dinar.com web site, reported that he heard "the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, say: 'A time is certainly coming over mankind in which there will be nothing which will be of use save a dinar and a dirham.'" So, the idea of the dinar and dirham as gold and silver (respectively) specie for the Islamic world would seem to go back to about AD 635, or the founding of their culture by the prophet Muhammed. As far as e-dinar the company, they report having minted gold dinar and silver dirham coins in 1992. In the first half of 2000, e-dinar finalized its partner agreement with e-gold. Third quarter of that year the company incorporated, authorized share capital, received permission to mint coins in Dubai, and established mints in UAE and Indonesia. The company also reports going "live" in September 2000 and launching in first quarter 2001, so we're not sure what that means. In third quarter 2003 a "large international corporation" bought a fifty percent stake in e-dinar. In July 2004, the e-dinar system formally separated from e-gold and launched as an independent e-payment system.

What we have not been able to ascertain is the amount of gold or silver in their vaults or in circulation. We continue to research this matter. Also, we've set up an e-dinar account just to see if by logging in we might have access to such data, but found none. If you are eager to send us e-dinar or dirham money, our account name is Indomitus Industries.

Some further information on the founders of e-dinar is available from Wired magazine author Julian Dibbell's excellent story on e-gold.

GoldMoney logo text

GoldMoney

GoldMoney.com came on line in 2001. We received a copy of the auditor report for the GoldMoney.com system. It looks to us like a thorough analysis of both the software version of funds in the system and also the gold in the vaults. What it means to us is GoldMoney is gold itself in our holding.

GoldMoney has 2,884,815.108 grams of gold in circulation and in the vault as of 31 December 2004. They publish no persistently updated figures on the number of users; their press release of 11 February 2004 claims 10,000 customers in over 100 countries. A figure released in private correspondence, indicated 17,663 users from 102 countries as of the end of 2004.

Jim Turk

GoldMoney was founded by James Turk who operates it along with Clifford Press. Jim has specialized in international banking, finance and investments since graduating in 1969 from George Washington University with a B.A. degree in International Economics. His business career began at The Chase Manhattan Bank, which included assignments in Thailand, the Philippines and Hong Kong. He subsequently joined the investment and trading company of a prominent precious metals trader based in Greenwich, Connecticut. He moved to the United Arab Emirates in December 1983 to be appointed Manager of the Commodity Department of the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, a position he held until resigning in 1987.

Since 1987 James Turk has written The Freemarket Gold & Money Report, an investment newsletter that publishes twenty issues annually. Dollar Collapse book He is the author of two books and several monographs and articles on money and banking. He is the co-author of The Coming Collapse of the Dollar and How to Profit from it: Make a Fortune by Investing in Gold and Other Hard Assets.

Clifford Press is the chairman of GoldMoney. He is also a general partner of Hyde Park Holdings, a company he co-founded in 1986. He previously worked for Morgan Stanley and Company in mergers and acquisitions. Hyde Park owns High Voltage, an industrial holding company with five operating divisions in the United States and Europe and annual revenues of $500 million; and Warehouse Associates Group, a public warehousing business headquartered in Ohio which owns and operates 3.5 million square feet of warehousing space.

Mr. Press has an MBA from Harvard with the Loeb Fellowship for excellence in finance. His undergraduate degree is from Oxford University, England.

Other key personnel are: Geoff Turk, director of opeartions, who manages systems development and technical operation; Anthem Blanchard, manager of product development, who manages customer service and enhanced web features; and Christiaan de Bruyn, manager of finance and administration, who handles the Jersey office duties and manages the finance department.

Significant events for 2004 include the January decision by Durban Roodepoort Deep to take a 1.4% position in GoldMoney and their April decision to increase that stake to 14% for a total of about $2 million invested; the issue of the one millionth gold gram on 11 February 2004 and, apparently, the issue of the two millionth more recently; their October addition of a new service to convert Canadian dollars by electronic check to GoldMoney - matching the services for British pounds and USA dollars announced in 2003. James Turk writes, "I think the significant events were the huge growth from 826 thousand goldgrams at the end of 2003 to 2.88 million goldgrams at the end of 2004 - we're obviously doing something that people like - and tying GoldMoney into the USA and Canada bank clearing systems, thus enabling people to move from dollars to goldgrams and back."

red Pecunix logo

Pecunix

Pecunix opened in 2002. We learned they have 1,579.499 ounces of gold, or about $692K in the vault. We gather from private correspondence that they have over 6,500 funded accounts at year's end.

Pecunix is organized as a private company, with one of its shareholders listed on the PVCSE.com exchange. Pecunix Venture Holdings or PVH is a minority shareholder in Pecunix, paid a dividend for 2003 and is set to pay a dividend for 2004.

Simon Sidd Davis

Pecunix was founded by entrepreneur and technology enthusiast Simon "Sidd" Davis. Originally a native of Rhodesia, then Zimbabwe, Sidd completed two years military service in Zimbabwe and moved to South Africa where he studied civil engineering. He worked as a civil engineer for four years while studying cost and management accounting via correspondence. He then worked for two years running his own construction business before taking a break for four years playing bass guitar as a professional musician.

Sidd established a new company to provide low cost housing for the reconstruction and development program in South Africa. Within two years, this new company was building 600 houses a month using self-help and homeowner-builder strategies and patented innovative housing systems. He also designed and patented a waterless toilet which has been used in South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya, Mozambique and other countries.

After government corruption in South Africa destroyed the low cost housing industry, Sidd moved to New Zealand where he began entrepreneurial endeavours in computer technology. He discovered e-gold in 1998 and founded Metal-Escrow which became Open2Exchange. He now operates Pecunix.com, PVCSE.com, Gold-Cart.com, and Garzoo.com, among other sites. He is happily married with four children.

Significant events for 2004 - Pecunix is now accepted at the Gold Casino, one of the most active gold commerce sites on the web.

We're told that an upgrade to the Pecunix interface is coming. Sidd reports, "It focuses on ease of use, and substantially eases the sign-up process and daily access process. It also upgrades Pecunix to use GPG rather than PGP. Later in the year we plan an upgrade that would build in a reputation system to Pecunix accounts."

Pecunix has never had a security breach of any kind and never had an account emptied by trojan or copycat type attacks. Its state of the art automation uses PGP security as an integral aspect for privacy and security. Sidd notes, "Our automation allows businesses like Gold888 to use Pecunix as a back end for their own user interface to supply gold currency to their own niche market.

1mdc logo

1MDC

1MDC was opened for business in 2001, as we recall. Since its gold reserves are provided by e-gold, we don't include it in our calculation of reserves. It wouldn't matter, since the company doesn't publish figures on users, gold stored, or any other aspect of operations.

What 1MDC or "FastGrams" provides is an account accessory to any e-gold account. You use 1MDC the same as you would any other online currency system. The data about your transaction history is stored offshore using servers on a Caribbean island and elsewhere. This approach accords with our views on jurisdictional arbitrage.

JP May in orbit, photo by ISL, retouch by Jim Davidson

The 1MDC system is the brainchild of robotics and software entrepreneur JP May. JP is a refugee from the corporate advertising world, a British ex-patriate, bon vivant, and Enlightenment aficionado who owns and operates Interesting Software, Ltd. He is also the inventor and gatekeeper of the May Scale of Monetary Hardness.

JP says, "ISL developed the software which 1MDC in fact uses. It is called the 'ISL DG Pak.' Anyone who wants to run a DG is welcome to buy it from ISL. It would end up costing the party less than e-gold spent on their software. Plus e-gold and GoldMoney's software is trash - no reason not to be controversial - ISL is the only actual web development software company that is close to a DG. We're not dentists, authors, etc., we're an actual software company."

In 2004, 1MDC was added to the Open2Exchange service - where it is called FastGrams (FGM), and is now offered by IceGold.com, Cambist.net, SpaceGold.com, e-Fidex.com, GoldNow.st, AnyGoldNow.com, EuroGoldFrance.com, and GoldAge.net. In October the company offered fiat currency equivalents for its automation and shopping cart interface. In November, the merchant Rayservers.com began accepting 1MDC. In early 2005, The Indomitus Report began accepting 1MDC using their supremely easy automation interface.

evocash logo

evocash

The evocash dollar transfer service was opened for business in 2001, again as we recall. The system operated successfully until 2004, when it was forced out of operation by what we gather was a USA federal investigation of the "Free Land Opps" or "FLO" investment scheme. We suspect that FLO was a Ponzi scheme, and it may have been operated to attack some of the online currency systems. Conceivably, FLO may have been a sting operation of sorts. To our knowledge, exchange providers were able to obtain refunds on all evocash balances. We were told to expect refund checks for non-FLO account holders, but we have not heard anything definite one way or the other.

PayPal

It should be noted that we do not consider PayPal to be an example of free market money. PayPal is a dollar transfer scheme which is licensed and regulated by various states. It might be likened to a sort of online credit card alternative. We list it here as a basis for comparison. Comments on the effectiveness and ethics of PayPal may be found at sites such as PayPalWarning.com/, AboutPayPal.org, PayPalSucks and similar.

PayPal was founded in 1998. Today it claims 56 million account members worldwide. Their first quarter 2004 volume of payments was $4.3 billion, which annualizes to $17.2 billion in payments. PayPal is 33 times as large as e-gold in number of users, 40 times as large as e-gold in annual payment volume. (GoldMoney has 45% of the metal currency in circulation, a plurality, but we don't have figures on their annual payment volume for comparison purposes.)

PayPal was co-founded by Max Levchin, Peter Thiel, and Elon Musk. We gather that Musk sold the company to eBay and seems to be following the opposite path from EI DuPont, taking his financial empire and parlaying it into a defense contractor company, much as DuPont in 1819 turned his successful military contractor company into a seat on the board of the Second Bank of the United States.

Altogether, the five companies with metal based online payment systems that publish figures on their circulation have about $85 million in inventory or metal in actual circulation (such as the Liberty silver pieces). Although the other gold currency operators don't publish figures on velocity, we extrapolate from the e-gold figure (about 10% of their inventory circulates in 24 hours) to suggest that about $8.6 million is circulated every day among the five systems (e-gold, Liberty Dollar, e-Bullion, GoldMoney, Pecunix). This figure annualizes to about $3.1 billion per year in payment volume. So, PayPal is only 5.5 times as large as the five gold and silver payment systems combined.


Publication note: We were unable to obtain photos from other company principals with permission to print them by press time. We have not ascertained satisfactory gold or silver redemption properties for other online currencies such as INTGold. We were suspicious of predecessor OSGold as not being gold nor offshore, and those suspicions proved well-founded. When we see convincing evidence of an online currency redeemable for gold or silver, we'll profile that currency on this site.


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Copyright © 2005 Free West Trust, All Rights Reserved.

The names of the companies e-gold, e-Bullion, e-dinar, GoldMoney, PayPal, Pecunix, 1MDC, Interesting Software, Ltd., Goldfinger Coin and Bullion, Gold & Silver Reserve, OminPay.net, IceGold, Open2Exchange, Cambist, GoldAge, the Gold Casino, PVCSE, dBourse, MCG, mentioned in this essay are the property of their respective owners. The images used are the property of the companies whose trademarks are represented, or of the individuals depicted, except where noted.

Indomitus Industries heraldic achievement