The new digital currency uses digitally minted coins and banknotes, which Digi.cash says provides “a number of important technology advantages”.

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“Unlike other digital money products, Digi.cash is actually minted digital coins and notes that you hold yourself, rather than an interface to an account balance being held elsewhere,” Digi.cash founder Andreas Furche said.

Digi.cash chair David Skellern said the currency is based on “cryptographic protocols” developed by digital cash inventor David Chaum, adding that technology developed since the 1990s when Mr Chaum first began implementation has finally made digital currency feasible.

“The spread of smartphones has, for the first time, made a real digital cash system viable. The technology is very impressive and it is capable of moving us towards the digital money era,” Mr Skellern said.

Digi.cash is operating under an exemption ruling from the Reserve Bank of Australia, though the total funds on issue has been limited to $10 million.

The company is looking to have this limit removed, though Mr Furche noted it is important for the company to “develop this technology within existing payments regulation”.

“We want to improve the ability of the regulated payments system to positively compete with unregulated developments, not add to the issues created by developments beyond the reach of national laws,” he said.

Digi.cash can be transferred between parties using existing means of digital data transfer, including email, NFC and Facebook.