Taler Systems SA - Insights

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Frequently Asked Questions

These are only some FAQs from a larger list you can retrieve by clicking the button "More FAQs".

Taler does not require any Blockchain technology, and is also not based on proof-of-work or any other distributed consensus mechanism. Instead, Taler is based on blind signatures. However, it is theoretically possible to combine Taler with peer-to-peer crypto-currencies like Bitcoin.

It would be possible, however, to withdraw coins denominated in Bitcoin into a Taler wallet (with an appropriate exchange), which would give some benefits over plain Bitcoin, such as instant confirmation times.

Your wallet stores digital coins and thus ultimately your computer holds your balance. The exchange keeps funds matching all unspent coins in an escrow bank account.

Since the digital coins of value in your wallet are anonymized, the exchange can not assist you in recovering a lost or stolen wallet. Just like with a physical wallet for cash, you are responsible for keeping it safe.

If your friends provide goods or services for you in exchange for a payment, they can easily set up a Taler merchant and receive the payment in their bank account.

Future versions of the Taler wallet may allow exchanging coins among friends directly as well.

Taler wallets can store digital coins corresponding to multiple different currencies such as the Euro, US Dollars or Bitcoins.

Taler currently does not offer conversion between currencies.

Your wallet stores digital coins that are blindly signed by an exchange. The use of a blind signature protects your privacy as it prevents the exchange from knowing which coin it signed for which customer.

The Taler protocol allows any exchange to set its own fee structure, allowing operators to set fees for withdrawing, depositing, refreshing or refunding coins. Operators can also charge fees for closing reserves and for (aggregated) wire transfers to merchants. Merchants may choose to cover some of the fees customers incur. Actual transaction costs are estimated around 0.001 cent/transaction (at high transaction rates, amortized over billions of transactions, excluding migration costs). Note that this is an early estimate, details may depend on hosting and backup requirements from the regulator and could thus easily be 10x higher.

Taler's wallet supports multiple currencies, but the system currently does not support conversion between currencies. However, in principle an entity that accepts deposits in one currency and allows withdrawals in another currency could be created. Still, the regulatory hurdles in this case tend to be particularly complex. The focus for Taler is on day-to-day payments, so we have no plans to support currency conversion in the near future.

We believe the European Electronic Money Directive provides part of the regulatory framework a Taler exchange with coins denominated in Euros would have to follow.

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Past Events

These are some remarkable events concerning Taler.

September 16, 2020

GNU Taler launched at Bern University of Applied Sciences

The GNU Taler payment system was launched at the Bern University of Applied Sciences in the presence of a representative of the Swiss National Bank.

July 7, 2020

Exchange independent security audit report published

Code Blau, Berlin-based independent security auditor, examined the Exchange code of Taler.

Publications

This is an overview of selected publications about Taler.

How to Issue a Central Bank Digital Currency

By David Chaum, Christian Grothoff, Thomas Moser
Article (2021)

Comment émettre une monnaie numérique de banque centrale

By David Chaum, Christian Grothoff, Thomas Moser, translated by Marie Walrafen and Emmanuel Benoist
Article (2021)

Why a Digital Euro should be Online-first and Bearer-based

By Christian Grothoff and Florian Dold
Article (2021)

The GNU Taler System: Practical and Provably Secure Electronic Payments

By Florian Dold
PhD Thesis (2019)

Peer-to-Peer Transactions for Privacy-Preserving Mobile Payments using GNU Taler

By J. Florian Kimmest
Bachelor Thesis (2020)

Embedded system for GNU/Taler: Designing an embedded system for cashless payment on a vending machine

By Dominik Wenger
Bachelor Thesis (2020)

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