PayPal digital Money

Joseph M. Reagle Jr. (
Fri, 23 Jul 1999 11:13:44 -0400

From: Austin Hill <>

CATCH OF THE DAY: Float me some bucks

In response to a Catch of the Day about "viral" products, I
got a call from Peter Thiel, CEO of Confinity, claiming that
his new company has the ultimate viral application: money.

Here's how it works: Confinity's new PayPal service lets you
"beam" money via the infrared transmitter of your handheld
device, such as your PalmPilot or Windows CE machine, to
another user's device (although first you have to beam the
other user the app). When you synchronize your handheld back
at your desktop, your credit card account is debited and the
transaction put into escrow; your associate, meanwhile,
signs up for the service in order to collect the transaction
into his or her credit card account.

Confinity got its start as an enterprise security company;
it pretty much changed direction completely to develop and
release PayPal. More importantly, in changing direction, the
company shifted its revenue model from payment for goods and
services to a more lucrative setup: it makes money from the
float in its escrow accounts.

- Rafe Needleman,