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Preface

Preface

PayPal wasn’t the first company to build an online payment system, but it might as well be the last. With over 50 million registered accounts, PayPal is rapidly becoming a household name. But, as indicated, there have been others; PayPal’s predecessors attempted to capitalize on the Internet boom by building new forms of money. But whether this new currency was called Flooz, Beanz, or eCash, it didn’t matter, because people didn’t buy it. PayPal based its system on plain old dollar bills (not to mention yen, euros, and pounds sterling), which, in the end, turned out to be more valuable than Internet gold.

PayPal’s next brilliant move was to identify each account by an email address. That way, anyone with an email account could send money to anyone else just by knowing the recipient’s email address. The email proclaiming “You’ve got cash” turned out to be extremely motivating.


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