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E-gold is a digital currency, used extensively on the Internet for making payments in exchange for goods and services.
It is one of the first digital e-currency providers, having started in 1996. E-gold accounts are backed by actual physical gold, dollar for dollar. You can take delivery of the physical gold if you wish, although there is an additional handling charge.
The E-gold e-currency is tied directly to the value of gold, so it's not possible to use outside influences to affect the value of it... unless one has the ability to affect the spot price of gold. Being tied to the price of gold, e-gold accounts fluctuate up and down with the value of national currencies as they move with the spot price of gold.
While gold is the most popular precious metal digital currency in use, E-gold also offers the platinum, palladium and silver precious metals as digital currency.
Funding an e-currency account is the job of a third party called a Market Maker. A market maker is a merchant who exchanges national currencies for e-currencies, and places them in your online currency account. Similarly, they will buy your ecurrency and pay you in your national currency when you wish to exchange your egold for currency.
You can fund an e-gold with paypal, or buy e-gold with a credit card if you wish, though the market maker will charge up to 15% to do so. This is largely because of the cost to him of fraudulent charge backs.
E-currencies are now accepted fairly extensively by online merchants in exchange their products and services, mainly catering to people, who for whatever reason, don't have or can't get, a credit card.
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