National banks have been launched into deep cyberspace. On Jan. 12, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency approved the operating subsidiary application of Zions First National Bank to establish Digital Signature Trust Co. as a certification authority to issue digital certificates for electronic authentication.

Electronic authentication is a prerequisite for binding Internet transactions and payments, as well as for electronic documents that will hold up in court. Digital Signature Trust will also operate an accessible data base for storing, retrieving, and verifying the current validity of a digital certificate known as a key repository; and will also provide escrow services for cryptographic keys used for encryption rather than authentication.

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