GNU Taler is a privacy-preserving payment system. Customers can stay anonymous, but merchants can not hide their income through payments with GNU Taler. This helps to avoid tax evasion and money laundering.
The primary use case of GNU Taler is payments; it is not meant as a store of value. Payments are always backed by an existing currency.
Payments are made after exchanging existing money into electronic money with the help of an Exchange service, that is, a payment service provider for Taler.
When making a payment, customers only need a charged wallet. A merchant can accept payments without making their customers register on the merchant's Website.
GNU Taler is immune against many types of fraud, such as phishing of credit card information or chargeback fraud. In case of loss or theft, only the limited amount of money left in the wallet might be gone.
Taler is easy to integrate with existing Web applications. Payments are cryptographically secured and are confirmed within milliseconds with extremely low transaction costs.
Taler does not introduce a new currency. Taler uses a digital wallet storing coins and payment service providers with escrow accounts in existing currencies. Thus, Taler's cryptographic coins correspond to existing currencies, such as US Dollars, Euros or even Bitcoins.
By design Taler does not suffer from many classes of security problems such as phishing or counterfeit. Thanks to its security features, Taler never rejects a legitimate customer due to a fraud-detection false positive.
When using Taler, merchant's revenue is transparent for tax collection authorities. Unlike cash and most digital currencies, Taler helps prevent black markets. Taler is not suitable for illegal activities.
When you pay with Taler, your identity does not have to be revealed. Just like payments in cash, nobody else can track how you spent your electronic money. However, you obtain a legally valid proof of payment.
Taler provides protocols and reference implementations that in principle enables anybody to run their own payment infrastructure, be it individuals, organizations or whole countries. Since the reference implementation is a GNU package, it will always remain free software.