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remote controlled web wallets

just some thoughts on a very insecure approach

When talking about currency on mobile phones the question pesists: on what phones will it run?

- java is supposed to be 'write once, debug everywhere'

- not clear if all / lots of phones can install java apps

- python on nokia is exotic

So, as an alternative web wallets could be implemented. A web wallet is an opencoin wallet that lives on some webserver of choice, and that could be remote controlled by browser/wap phone/whatever. Coins would be stored on the web wallet, ideally encrypted. These wallets could be implemented as drupal/plone/wordpress plugins, standalone cgi scripts, whatever. A normal user wallet could use symetric encryption, with the key not stored in the wallet at all, but entered by the user when using the wallet (maybe stored in a session cookie). For receiving coins one could use public keys, with the secret key laying on the server, protected by a password, and then re-crypted once the user logs in.

These wallets could be installed wherever the user wants to install the open source software, and I would bet that banks would come up that host your wallet in a trusted way.

Of course, from a security point of view, this aehm, leaves space for improvement. But it could be a transition road. People could try out the system with small amounts of cash, when a desktop client becomes available use that for actually handling of the coins (receive them on the web, secret key on the desktop). Later on 'proper' mobile phone clients might come along.

For merchants at least the receiving wallet will be needed anyhow.

The major benefit is that such a system requires no special client software for the user at all, so roll out is easy. Hey, even an sms gateway might be possible. Cost for such a web wallet system might be relatively small as well. 

Just a thought....

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