The MintChip ecosystem has been designed to emulate the existing coin distribution model, i.e. MintChip is minted by the Royal Canadian Mint and distributed into the market by a Trusted Broker, to be used by consumers and merchants.


The MintChip - Value Creation

The MintChip system models the attributes of cash.

The MintChip Minter is the trusted entity that creates the MintChip value and which it puts into circulation by selling value to the Broker. The Broker trades MintChip value with the users of the system and MintChip value is exchanged with consumers and merchants. The Broker debits and credits the merchant and consumer bank accounts in exchange for MintChip value. Senders and Receivers are users of MintChip value and may be consumers, merchants, businesses, Government, etc.

The MintChip - Security Overview

The MintChip chip is a Tamper Resistant Module (TRM), sometimes also called a Hardware Security Module (HSM). The Value Transfer Protocol cannot be modified without detection.

The integrity of the TRM must be assured and the cryptographic mechanisms protecting the Value Transfer Message are adequately resistant to attack.

  • The chip used for the MintChip store must adequately represent a TRM.
  • The security of the chip (including firmware and software) is the greatest vulnerability in a MintChip system; therefore MintChip will use security-hardened chips with regularly planned security upgrades.
  • The MintChip system is deliberately designed for changes to both the chips and cryptographic mechanisms in a transparent fashion. It is even possible to force the expiry of a particular MintChip platform version.

Unlike other conventional electronic payment systems, MintChip does not have the same threat model. MintChip can operate off-line or on-line unreferenced to any trusted party and the payment is instant and irrevocable.