Canada asks hackers for 'MintChip' digital cash -

The Canadian government is asking its hacker community to come up with an idea to run a digital cash system.

The Royal Canadian Mint has apparently had enough of untraceable cash and wants to get rid of it.

According to the Star, the Mint unveiled its digital currency called MintChip which is still in the research and development phase.

When it is finally worked out, MintChip will ultimately let people pay each other directly using smartphones, USB sticks, computers, tablets and on the cloud.

Digital currency will be anonymous and useful for small transactions where cash is used now.

The Mint is holding a contest for software developers to create applications using the MintChip and is giving away solid gold wafers and coins worth about $50,000.

The Mint's chief financial officer Marc Brûlé had to play down rumours that the whole thing was a hoax.

Commerce is changing and the Mint has always been innovative, Brûlé said.

Brûlé said the digital economy is going to be fueled by smartphones and mobile being the next big thing. But despite that there are no cost effective electronic options for low value transactions that can be used regardless of a person's age or credit standing.

MintChip will be a secure microchip that can let people transfer small amounts of money with no personal information attached to it.

This is a different philosophy where other governments have been pushing for the development of digital currency because it can be tracked.