digi.cash is electronic cash. It consists of small encrypted and digitally signed computer files, that each represent an electronic coin or banknote.
You can store digi.cash on your phones or computers, or on external storage like USBs. You can send digi.cash to others in the same way as you send any other files – by e-mail, facebook, skype, on a USB stick, or by instant payment options offered for the purpose, using QR codes or direct file transfer options.
digi.cash is a project originating in the Capital Markets CRC, Australia's largest research centre for financial technology, which is co-funded by industry, universities, and the Australian government.
digi.cash is money
As with cash, you can withdraw digi.cash from your bank account at any time, and you can deposit it back to your bank account at any time. The speed at which these bank transfers occur is still determined by the banking system - but over time it will move closer to 'instant'.
digi.cash is denominated in national currencies. It is part of the banking system, and for each dollar issued in digi.cash, a dollar is held in a special purpose account within the banking system.
digi.cash is secure
The encryption and digital signature technology in digi.cash ensures that it is secure, even as it is circulated across insecure environments, such as the Internet. Even if others are listening into your communication, they cannot 'steal' your digi.cash while it is being sent.
While stored on your phone, computer, or USB, digi.cash is encrypted. But you should still protect your device like you would your wallet. Though unlike with your real wallet, if your digi.cash wallet is lost or stolen, we can recover your 'lost' digi.cash for you.
digi.cash is fast
digi.cash payments consist of the transfer of the electronic cash, and an exchange of 'old' for 'new' electronic coins/notes. This is achieved in a matter of seconds. The transaction is then fully final, meaning as a recipient you can see that you have received the money, and as a payer you can see that it has been paid.
digi.cash doesn't involve transaction costs
The use of digi.cash is free of transaction fees, whether you receive money, or whether you pay someone. There are also currently no fees to withdraw digi.cash from your bank account, or to deposit it to your bank account.
Cash makes no distinction whether you are a 'merchant' or a 'private user'. Nor does digi.cash.
Over time, we may provide additional services such as the ability to withdraw digi.cash as cash from ATMs, and the ability to exchange between currencies. In as much as offering these services incur transaction fees it may be necessary to pass on the costs. Large transaction volumes may incur service costs, particularly at the interface to the banking system.
However, principally digi.cash is just like cash.
Legal and Limitation note
Operating under Australian payment systems legislation, the digi.cash pilot phase runs under an exemption ruling from the Reserve Bank of Australia, which limits the total amount of digi.cash we can issue to AUD10million. Also, during the pilot phase transactions are limited to $1,000. Depending on user uptake and interest, we may limit new digi.cash.