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Re: [Taler] Is an exchange also a merchant?

From: Calvin Burns
Subject: Re: [Taler] Is an exchange also a merchant?
Date: Sat, 15 Jan 2022 11:42:24 +0000

"may be run by a central bank" seems natural:
I would expect a convergence to an exchange monopoly or oligarchy in a
commercial exchange system because the bigger the more profit and the cheaper
the relative administration.
What is better: a monopoly controlled by the state (hopefully someday by a
democratically legitimated government) or by a private corporation?  Usually
it's like that: if a private corporation manages some public infrastructure like
the ledger system, health insurance, water, bridges, trains, power supply,
underground, pension scheme, ..., than quality decreases (dramatically) while
costs (for those who depend on it) increases (dramatically).  And it has the
effect of excluding the poor (which is an instance of "dramatically").

Perhaps another option might be to have multiple local currency systems.
But than the question arises how do they interact or how should they interact?

> An exchange is a payment service provider, merely facilitating payments,
> but not a "productive" economic entity. An exchange is expected to
> always be in the regulated financial sector and hold some kind of
> license from the government to issue electronic money. It may be run by
> a central bank.
> A merchant is like any normal shop: it can sell regular virtual or
> physical goods to customers in return for electronic cash. It will most
> of the time not be tightly regulated at all (except of course stuff like
> consumer protection and paying taxes ;-)).
> I hope this helps!
yes, at least by giving some impulses or directions to think.
> -Christian
> On 1/14/22 5:02 PM, Calvin Burns via Taler wrote:
> > Thank you, Sebastian.
> > I have to think about it.
> > Perhaps the definition of "merchant" in a GNU Taler sense differs
> > from my intuition about what a merchant is and I mix them up.
> > My intuition is that a merchant is some entity creating something and 
> > selling
> > it. In that sense an exchange still feels like a merchant.
> > 
> > On Fri, 01/14/2022 12:06:24 PM, Sebastian wrote:
> >> Hi Clavin,
> >>
> >> think the exchange as the ATM that allows you to get GNU Taler coins if
> >> you wire transfer some money or it will wire transfer money back to you
> >> if you deposit coins minted by it. It's not selling access, it's
> >> charging fee by using it.
> >>
> >> To use the coins you will need a wallet that will execute the part of
> >> the protocol to withdraw and deposit.
> >>
> >> The merchant is another participant that without withdrawing coins is
> >> able to deposit and get money by wire transfer from an exchange. How? It
> >> create a contract_term specifying amount (among other things), ask
> >> someone else to spend the coins in the contract (signing the contract
> >> with coins) and then sending the contract to the exchange.
> >>
> >> Does this make more sense?
> >>
> >>
> >> On 14/1/22 11:40, Calvin Burns via Taler wrote:
> >>> What is the difference between merchant and exchange?
> >>> An exchange is selling access to "the" ledger system.
> >>> So an exchange is also a merchant?
> >>> Does an exchange also have to setup and taler merchant infrastructure for 
> >>> itself?


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