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GNU Taler version 0.0.0 released

Developers at the French Inria research institute and the Technical University of Munich have introduced a new payment protocol called GNU Taler* and released an alpha package with the version number 0.0.0, Germany’s heise Open Source news website reports. The new system should solve the problem thrown up by crypto currencies that payments in these systems can only be traced with difficulty by state institutions for taxation purposes. At the same time, a high degree of user anonymity will also be ensured.

Taler logoHowever, no new currency is to be created as the Talers transferred are merely cryptographic tokens representing other currencies such as Euro or Bitcoins. Users arrange with their bank for a transfer to a Taler exchange and have their Taler coins delivered from it to an online wallet, which they then use for making purchases in online shops. Traders can can the Taler coins received back into the original currency via the Taler exchange, which must of course retain adequate currency reserves. All transactions will take place securely on the basis of cryptographic signatures and cannot be falsified.

Furthermore, no personal information will be disclosed during a Taler transaction. However, information about transactions will be stored in the wallet so that consumers can demand their rights in respect of traders.

Demonstration version online

A demo version for spending toy money is already online. Users will need to install the Wallet add-on for Chrome or Chromium respectively to be able to use it.

The developers are hoping to make the payment system available to the general public in 2016.

* = The original taler or thaler was a silver coin issued by various German states from the 15th to 19th century. The taler is also reputed to be the etymological origin of the mighty US dollar.