Abstracts - 3rd USENIX Workshop on Electronic Commerce
NetCents: A Lightweight Protocol for Secure Micropayments
Tomi Poutanen, University of Toronto
Heather Hinton, Ryerson University
Michael Stumm, University of Toronto
NetCents is a lightweight, flexible and secure protocol
for electronic commerce over the Internet that is
designed to support purchases ranging in value from a
fraction of a penny and up. NetCents differs from
previous protocols in several respects: NetCents uses
(vendor-independent) floating scrips as signed
containers of electronic currency, passed from vendor
to vendor. This allows NetCents to incorporate
decentralized verification of electronic currency at a
vendor's server with offline payment capture.
Customer trust is not required within this protocol and
a probabilistic verification scheme is used to effectively
limit vendor fraud. An online arbiter is implemented
that will ensure proper delivery of purchased goods and
that can settle most customer/vendor disputes.
NetCents can be extended to support fully anonymous
payments. In this paper we describe the NetCents
protocol and present experimental results of a
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