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In this paper a piecewise linear chaotic map (PWLCM) is used to build a new digital chaotic cryptosystem. The characteristics of PWLCM are very suitable for the design of encryption schemes. The implicit digital degradation problem of PWLCM has been eluded through the discretization of the phase space. The accuracy, efficiency and security of the proposed encryption scheme is thoroughly analyzed and its adequacy for image encryption is proved.