Cybercash: The Coming Era of Electronic Money

Cybercash: The Coming Era of Electronic Money

Cybercash: The Coming Era of Electronic Money

Cybercash: The Coming Era of Electronic Money


Cybercash refers to the creation and circulation of online money. Guttman applies economic analysis to this electronic money to understand how it will enable the internet to re-establish itself as the dynamic center of the new economy and how this new money form will become the dominant payment mechanism rivaling cash, paper checks or credit cards. This will be the first book to look at the coming era of electronic money within the broader context of the economy.


Attention readers! This book is important!

Robert Guttmann's Cybercash is important because it deals with an ensemble of ‘major’ innovations capable of triggering a powerful wave of change. These innovations concern money—arguably the institution through which our social ties manifest themselves in a most consistent and indispensable fashion. The book thus analyzes innovations which, in all likelihood, will profoundly affect all aspects of social life.

As the author reminds us, money possesses a ‘public’ dimension beyond its private usage by all of us. We value it and use it only because collectively we know with certainty that everyone else will consider it as good as does each one of us. Thus, changing the form of this link by introducing new intermediaries in acts of exchange means transforming social life itself. With cybercash—the new type of money that circulates on the internet in several forms—this is precisely what we get: a revolution in the support structure of market exchanges and even in the dynamic of the exchange process itself.

Robert Guttmann deserves to be thanked for having given us this detailed and precise analysis of the birth of a new type of money—its first forms, its first uses—and for having accomplished this task in such a profound, yet thoroughly readable fashion. He dissects with care the new business models of online firms such as Yahoo!, eBay, or E*Trade, and elaborates on the reasons why these firms fascinate us as harbingers of the future. With the same sharp edge he analyzes the failures, the victims of the e-crash. Under the direction of Robert Guttmann this constantly shifting and sometimes strange world of the internet is rendered intelligible and transparent. He presents a radical innovation, in the Schumpeterian sense of triggering powerful waves of ‘creative destruction’, as if it were a riddle in a detective story whose resolution he guides us to step by step.

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed


An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.