Section: New Software and Platforms


GNU Taler

Keyword: Privacy

Scientific Description: Taler is a Chaum-style digital payment system that enables anonymous payments while ensuring that entities that receive payments are auditable. In Taler, customers can never defraud anyone, merchants can only fail to deliver the merchandise to the customer, and payment service providers can be fully audited. All parties receive cryptographic evidence for all transactions, still, each party only receives the minimum information required to execute transactions. Enforcement of honest behavior is timely, and is at least as strict as with legacy credit card payment systems that do not provide for privacy.

The key technical contribution underpinning Taler is a new refresh protocol which allows fractional payments and refunds while maintaining untraceability of the customer and unlinkability of transactions. The refresh protocol combines an efficient cut-and-choose mechanism with a link step to ensure that refreshing is not abused for transactional payments.

We argue that Taler provides a secure digital currency for modern liberal societies as it is a flexible, libre and efficient protocol and adequately balances the state's need for monetary control with the citizen's needs for private economic activity.

Functional Description: Taler is a new electronic payment system. It includes an electronic wallet for customers, a payment backend for merchants and the main payment service provider logic called the exchange. Taler offers Chaum-style anonymous payments for citizens, and income-transparency for taxability.

  • Participants: Florian Dold, Gabor Toth, Hans Grothoff, Jeffrey Paul Burdges and Marcello Stanisci

  • Partner: The GNU Project

  • Contact: Sébastien Campion

  • URL: http://taler.net/