A digital object ownership system is disclosed. The system includes a plurality of user terminals, where each terminal is accessible by at least one individual user. The system also includes at least one central computer system that is capable of communicating with each of the user terminals. A plurality of digital objects are provided, where each of the digital objects has a unique object identification code. Each of the digital objects are assigned to an owner. The digital objects are persistent, such that each of the digital objects is accessible by a particular user both when the user's terminal is in communication with the central computer system and also when the user's terminal is not in communication with the central computer system. The digital objects have utility in connection with communication over a network in that the object requires both the presence of the object identification code and proof of ownership.