Before bitcoin there was digiCash and its creator David Chaum. He was the first to describe digital money and wrote his paper in 1983.
quotes from the article:
In his paper, he describes the key point that his digital money differs from credit card payments through anonymity. Users receive the digital currency from their bank, but then it is made anonymous. This allows the bank to see who has exchanged how much money, but not what it is used for.
Chaum uses cryptography to create a blind, digital signature to make money anonymous. A metaphor best explains what this signature is
David Chaum then starts a company in 1989 and then creates a virtual currency call DigiCash.
It enables the secure and convenient payment of goods and services on the Internet. This distinguishes DigiCash from conventional credit cards, whose use is quite insecure in comparison
What makes this even more intriguing is that apparently, Bill Gates at the time wanted to integrate DigiCash into Windows 95 but the deal fell short.
I find this both interesting and a bit conflicting considering Bill Gate’s stance on cryptocurrency.
edit: this is not poopoo on Gates because views can change. Personally I think he is one of the good guys even at one and still does support larger tax for billionaire and not the mention pumping billions into humanatarian work.