Thomas Hardjono suggested that an electronic counterpart to physical strongboxes could be a useful mechanism for electronic commerce. These electronic strongboxes would be used for secure storage of anything digital, including certificates, contracts, cash, coins and checks. Access to an electronic strongbox service would ameliorate the need for users to have large storage spaces personally for storing all their electronic cash, and would facilitate trade and exchange.
Thomas further suggested that physical valuer services might generate unforgeable digital representations of the value of existing physical goods. With the real goods in secure physical storage, on-line valuers could be used to verify the authentic ownership of items in the system. to split items into sub-items, and to help the exchange facilitator, who would mediate exchanges between customers to ensure that they were honest and irrefutable. A formal association would oversee the entire system and its participants, and a notary would handle disputes in cooperation with the association.
Such a system would require proof of the retrieval or storage of an item in a strongbox, proof of the ownership of an item with anonymity, proof of the submission of an item for valuation, proof of an exchange transaction, and detection of illegal and duplicate items.
Bob Gezelter asked if this implied that a user would in effect create a shadow currency by depositing something of value; Thomas answered that yes, it did. It was then pointed out that anonymously tradeable certificates equal cash.