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Banknotes Go Electronic To Outwit Counterfeiters

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the electric-benjamins dept.

Crime 441

suraj.sun writes "Modern banknotes contain up to 50 anti-counterfeiting features, but adding electronic circuits programmed to confirm the note's authenticity is perhaps the ultimate deterrent, and would also help to simplify banknote tracking. From the article: 'A team of German and Japanese researchers created arrays of thin-film transistors (TFTs) by carefully depositing gold, aluminum oxide and organic molecules directly onto the notes through a patterned mask, building up the TFTs layer by layer. The result is an undamaged banknote containing around 100 organic TFTs, each of which is less than 250 nanometres thick and can be operated with voltages of just 3V. Such small voltages could be transmitted wirelessly by an external reader, such as the kind that communicates with the RFID tags found on many products.'"

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Go electronic! (2, Insightful)

alexandre_ganso (1227152) | more than 3 years ago | (#34644568)

Why do we still carry money anyway?

Re:Go electronic! (4, Informative)

sohmc (595388) | more than 3 years ago | (#34644622)

How else are you going to tip your stripper?

Re:Go electronic! (5, Funny)

oldspewey (1303305) | more than 3 years ago | (#34644642)

You'd be amazed the places you can swipe a credit card

Re:Go electronic! (2, Funny)

Lilith's Heart-shape (1224784) | more than 3 years ago | (#34644760)

I got my ass kicked by the bouncer the last time I tried to swipe my card between the stripper's buttocks in order to tip her.

Re:Go electronic! (1)

snookerhog (1835110) | more than 3 years ago | (#34645028)

but the question really is: will she have an RFID reader in her ass to verify your tips in the future?

Re:Go electronic! (2)

Lilith's Heart-shape (1224784) | more than 3 years ago | (#34645128)

Dunno. I'm not going back to that bar.

Re:Go electronic! (2)

Stregano (1285764) | more than 3 years ago | (#34645038)

You swiped in the wrong spot.

Re:Go electronic! (1)

alexandre_ganso (1227152) | more than 3 years ago | (#34644664)

I understand you've never been to Thailand, Spain or Brazil.... They accept credit cards and very generic stuff appears in your bill.

Re:Go electronic! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34644714)

Or strip your tipper?

Re:Go electronic! (1)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 3 years ago | (#34644780)

Hey now, that is a job for Al Gore.

Re:Go electronic! (2)

cacba (1831766) | more than 3 years ago | (#34644864)

Take a picture of her tattooed QR code.

Re:Go electronic! (1)

Stregano (1285764) | more than 3 years ago | (#34645050)

You can always send them money through PayPal.

Re:Go electronic! (2)

ByOhTek (1181381) | more than 3 years ago | (#34644672)

I do because I don't like part of the credit card companies business model, and would rather pay cash when possible.

Re:Go electronic! (2)

DubThree (1963844) | more than 3 years ago | (#34644698)

Have you ever tried to pay for crack-cocaine using a credit card or your PayPal account? It's tough. I've got to use banknotes or food stamps.

Re:Go electronic! (1)

alexandre_ganso (1227152) | more than 3 years ago | (#34644744)

I know at least one place where the guy comes in a motorcycle to deliver you cocaine, and accepts credit card. Appears on the bill as pizza.

Re:Go electronic! (2)

spun (1352) | more than 3 years ago | (#34644774)

I know at least one place where the guy comes in a motorcycle to deliver you cocaine, and accepts credit card. Appears on the bill as pizza.

Well, sure, cocaine. But not crack. As Whitney Houston said, "Crack is a poor person's drug."

Convenience in some situations (2)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 3 years ago | (#34644732)

Part of the problem, particularly in the US, is there isn't a good person-to-person electronic payment system that is easy to use, secure, and low cost. So let's say you pay for lunch on your credit card, how do I pay you back? Paypal requires we both have accounts, go to a computer, transfer, incur a fee, wait, and so on. Unless you happen to be a business owner you yourself don't accept credit cards. So cash is the only easy way.

Can also apply to businesses. Like when I had a local plumber come out to fix a broken faucet. They would take a credit card, of course, they have to in this day and age, but they didn't want to pay the retardedly expensive fees to have a full on wireless, battery powered, unit in their trucks. So I would have had to call their office and give them the number, they run the card, call back the plumber and tell him "It's good write him a receipt." Or, I could do what I did, get some cash and just pay him on the spot.

We need a some more advances in electronic currency before it'll be feasible to not need paper anymore.

Re:Convenience in some situations (2)

metrix007 (200091) | more than 3 years ago | (#34644808)

I've always thought this was ridiculous. In the rest of thje developed world I can send to another persons bank account any amount for free. It may take a few business days, but absolutely no need for paypal.

Re:Convenience in some situations (1)

clone52431 (1805862) | more than 3 years ago | (#34644938)

We have that too, it’s called “personal check”... though it does have the drawback of requiring you to trust that they actually have that much money in the account, and the check clears.

Re:Go electronic! (5, Insightful)

vux984 (928602) | more than 3 years ago | (#34644734)

Why do we still carry money anyway?

Primarily so we can give it to who we want in the amounts we want, and we don't require Visa/Mastercard/Government/Paypal approving of the entity you are transacting with.

Essentially it's actually an important piece of protecting our freedom.

Re:Go electronic! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34644890)

Essentially it's actually an important piece of protecting our freedom.

I'm waiting for the day when wannabe freedom-fighters and "revolutionaries" realize that the phrase "it's to protect our freedom" now has roughly the same impact that "it's to protect against terrorists" does. Man, that'll be HILARIOUS to watch!

Re:Go electronic! (2, Insightful)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#34644998)

So...you want to carry a government document...to prove you're free.

Got it.

Re:Go electronic! (1)

characterZer0 (138196) | more than 3 years ago | (#34645094)

I pay in chickens.

Re:Go electronic! (4, Insightful)

Anachragnome (1008495) | more than 3 years ago | (#34645034)

"...Essentially it's actually an important piece of protecting our freedom..."

Was. (if this idiocy is implemented)

The article basically describes RFID tech capable of being built into money. These RFIDs can be read at any point-of-sale cash register. No? Give the government a year or so, as this is the real purpose of all of this--tracking every fucking dollar spent (not to mention the person doing the spending).

As with any RFID system, use your microwave oven liberally. 5 seconds is usually enough. If enough people do this, the whole scheme falls apart as constant "counterfeits" will be a deterrent to doing business and people won't trust the RFID pass/fail determintation. Besides, what happens if your hundred-dollar bill RFID malfunctions (from, say, being crumpled up in a pocket while going through the washer?) and no longer communicates? Are you out a hundred bucks? Will the clerk waiting for you to pay for a full shopping cart of groceries care?

It isn't a collar unless you let them put it on you.

Re:Go electronic! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34645042)

Primarily so we can give it to who we want in the amounts we want, and we don't require Visa/Mastercard/Government/Paypal approving of the entity you are transacting with.

Essentially it's actually an important piece of protecting our freedom.

That is true, but many of us don't want Visa/MasterCard/Amex/Paypal charging a fee on every transaction.

Re:Go electronic! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34645076)

If that's what you're after then you should check out Bitcoin. It was mentioned on here [slashdot.org] a while back. It's a form of decentralized digital currency.

Re:Go electronic! (2)

pilgrim23 (716938) | more than 3 years ago | (#34644758)

A very large portion of the US Economy is conducted in cash. This is all to track that. To Track, to Control, to Tax.... Just another step towards the new economy for the New Age: Barter.

Re:Go electronic! (1)

SLi (132609) | more than 3 years ago | (#34644996)

What I've been wondering (not that I'd hope to see it implemented) is why there are no bar codes in banknotes. Wouldn't that be a relatively cheap and low-tech way to enable rather widespread tracking?

Re:Go electronic! (2)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 3 years ago | (#34644772)

Why do we still carry money anyway?

Because some people recognize that once we go completely electronic, that the government will have you by the balls. Kiss any semblance of a free country goodbye.

Being a Restaurateur in Germany used to be a fairly lucrative thing, even for a mom and pop operation - especially for a small operation. But fairly recently, if you operate a restaurant there, you have to have you cash register hooked up right to their version of the IRS. Automatic transfers taxes too and the like.

Usually economies run well if the government tolerates a small amount of black market activity. The tighter grip they exert, the less productivity there is.

Re:Go electronic! (1)

Lilith's Heart-shape (1224784) | more than 3 years ago | (#34644786)

I don't report cash income to the IRS. :)

Re:Go electronic! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34644852)

Hmm. A low cost sedan just pulled up and two guys in dark suits are getting out of the car.

Re:Go electronic! (1)

Lilith's Heart-shape (1224784) | more than 3 years ago | (#34645082)

You sure they're Feds and not Mafia?

Re:Go electronic! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34645102)

Is there a difference?

Re:Go electronic! (3, Funny)

Nyder (754090) | more than 3 years ago | (#34644788)

Why do we still carry money anyway?

Because when you pay people like me.

I don't accept checks, money orders, paypal transactions, nor do I accept credit/debit cards.

I do accept cash. United States Dollars, to be exact.

What do I do?

I fix your computer. I'm the guy, who makes house calls, to fix whatever the fuck you, or someone else did to mess up your computer.

Sure, you can go to the geek squad, or pay some "professional" place to do it. chances are, they won't fix it correctly, charge you way more then I do, and don't do house calls. Not to mention they might report something you have on your computer to some government agency. You didn't know the pics of your kids in the bathtub is considered child porn? That would suck to find out on the way to jail.

Or you can call me up, see when i'm free, and get your shit fixed correctly the first time. I also do the barter system, but that's mostly for weed dealers. Oh, and not only do I have better things to do then poke around your harddrive for whatever you have, I could care less what you have on your computer. Not my business, and your paying me cash to keep it not my business.

Re:Go electronic! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34645114)

So what your really saying is your a drug supplier who is full of himself and will never see mine, nor 90% of america's business.

Gotta love freedom of speech.

Re:Go electronic! (4, Interesting)

bobdotorg (598873) | more than 3 years ago | (#34644882)

Why do we still carry money anyway?

Cash = Anonymity.

Re:Go electronic! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34644916)

I do.

One day the local beer store had problems with their network connection. Their debit and CC transactions were down for few hours. Two people in front of me couldn't pay. I just got my $20 bill, and paid for my beer.

So yes, you don't have to carry cash. But once something happens to the network and you don't have access to your account, *you* are fucked. But if you like getting fucked by the system, don't have any cash. Then it's only a matter of when, not if.

Re:Go electronic! (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 3 years ago | (#34644918)

Because carrying money comes without extra cost?
Because that way you have intuitive control about your spending?
Because unlike credit cards, it cannot be tracked?
Because it's often simply faster?

Re:Go electronic! (2)

operagost (62405) | more than 3 years ago | (#34645080)

So the government can't take all your money instantly-- without due process, of course.

That being said, they're collectively confiscating all of our wealth via inflation.

RE: Go electronic! (5, Insightful)

Nkwe (604125) | more than 3 years ago | (#34644598)

Why do we still carry money anyway?

For anonymous transactions. This puts that concept at risk.

Re: Go electronic! (1)

KublaiKhan (522918) | more than 3 years ago | (#34644950)

Now here's an interesting thought--bear with me here--what if the serial number were generated as the public key to a private key hidden in the electronics in the note? That way, the authenticity could be verified easily, and, as a bonus, individual bills could be used as crypto keys.

Re: Go electronic! (2)

vlm (69642) | more than 3 years ago | (#34645024)

Now here's an interesting thought--bear with me here--what if the serial number were generated as the public key to a private key hidden in the electronics in the note? That way, the authenticity could be verified easily, and, as a bonus, individual bills could be used as crypto keys.

You need something more complicated to prevent "double spending"/multiple copies being made, and simply creating your own pub/priv pairs.

Re: Go electronic! (1)

KublaiKhan (522918) | more than 3 years ago | (#34645130)

Well, to spend would require passing the token (read: handing over the bill) to the new owner.

Key generation by private individuals could be prevented through custom exotic machine architecture without which the algorithms don't work--say, quantum-processed base-(largeprime) calculations. It wouldn't last forever, of course; doubtless, someone would be able to eventually crack the base-2305843009213693951 calculations that generate the keys, but by that time the new series of bills would be out ;-p

Re: Go electronic! (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#34645046)

Why do you need to make anonymous transactions?

Ohhhh. You mean illegal transactions.

Re: Go electronic! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34645068)

Why do we still carry money anyway?

For anonymous transactions. This puts that concept at risk.

Bank notes already tend to have unique identifiers. If this tech keeps them viable instead of forcing the use of electronic payment systems, this does more to protect anonymity than put it at risk.

Re: Go electronic! (1)

quantumRage (1122013) | more than 3 years ago | (#34645132)

Why do we still carry money anyway?

For anonymous transactions. This puts that concept at risk.

You may have noticed, but there are places where you can't pay with a card. Mostly at the countryside.

"Ultimate" Deterrent? (2, Insightful)

timeOday (582209) | more than 3 years ago | (#34644600)

It's hard for me to imagine any security measure economical enough to implement in $20 bills could not be replicated by a really well-funded forger, such as a foreign intelligence agency. If there is any "ultimate" deterrent, it would involve tracking the movement of funds from one individual to another, i.e. marginalizing the use of cash, or making it equivalent to electronic banking, so Big Brother can keep an eye on it.

Re:"Ultimate" Deterrent? (2)

ByOhTek (1181381) | more than 3 years ago | (#34644690)

The only "Ultimate" deterrent would be to make it impossible to produce the currency for less than the value of the currency.

Re:"Ultimate" Deterrent? (1)

spazdor (902907) | more than 3 years ago | (#34645048)

And that's why everyone hates pennies.

Re:"Ultimate" Deterrent? (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 3 years ago | (#34645086)

The only "Ultimate" deterrent would be to make it impossible to produce the currency for less than the value of the currency.

As long as the existence of the currency over the lifetime of the physical object generates more tax value by being used, than it cost to make, a govt will run a profit if they own the mint. If it costs $21 to make a $20, thats perfectly OK if the bill is so durable that each 5% sales tax and 30% income tax adds up to $22 of revenue from that physical artifact.

Also there is no deterrent from a wealthy enough foreign power minting bills just to mess with you. Kind of like you don't need to make a profit on a military battle rifle round for it to be convenient for a country to produce and use it.

The only ultimate deterrent remains something with a fission core, unfortunately.

Re:"Ultimate" Deterrent? (1)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 3 years ago | (#34644748)

That's what this story is about. The government being able to track the movement of cash. First they will put these electronic circuits in the money so that when someone wants to check if a bill is legitimate they can scan the bill for the electronic code, the scanner will check with the centralized database that the electronic code in the bill is one of the legitimate ones. After these scanners become common, they will be required for all business transactions.

Re:"Ultimate" Deterrent? (1)

31415926535897 (702314) | more than 3 years ago | (#34644842)

It's hard for me to imagine any security measure economical enough to implement in $20 bills could not be replicated by a really well-funded forger, such as a foreign intelligence agency. .

Inflation.

Re:"Ultimate" Deterrent? (1)

MichaelKristopeit321 (1963760) | more than 3 years ago | (#34645074)

exactly what i was thinking... there is nothing "ultimate" about an electronic circuit... if anything, forging a logical circuit would be the easiest thing to reliably and exactly duplicate on the note. obviously masks carry significant costs, but no more than commercial printing presses, magnetized and luminescent inks, and various paper stocks.

also considering the largest threat of counterfeiting comes from foreign governments... particularly those that currently control most of the chip fabrication plants that could duplicate this process on a marginal basis, if anything this is setting up the banks to create their own false sense of security and allow counterfeiting on a much grander scale.

What the hell is a banknote? (1)

seepho (1959226) | more than 3 years ago | (#34644606)

Now my wallet can use an RFID reader to tell me it doesn't have any money in it? Fantastic.

Goodbye Cash Anonymity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34644634)

Hello tracking porn and cigarette purchases. This is the next step in teh "War on Crime."

Re:Goodbye Cash Anonymity (1)

patjhal (1423249) | more than 3 years ago | (#34644704)

Buy silver and Gold coins :)

Re:Goodbye Cash Anonymity (1)

mark-t (151149) | more than 3 years ago | (#34644866)

Sure you could do that... but you might have a problem exchanging them for real goods at most places. No place is obligated to accept legal tender in exchange for goods.

Re:Goodbye Cash Anonymity (1)

operagost (62405) | more than 3 years ago | (#34645126)

Actually, legal tender IS what they're obligated to take. They can take legal tender AT FACE VALUE, or forgive the debt. They don't have to pay the actual value of a silver dollar (about $23 just in bullion right now).

Re:Goodbye Cash Anonymity (1)

mlts (1038732) | more than 3 years ago | (#34644958)

The bouillon ownership will be banned like it was pre-1975.

Big brother I see you! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34644644)

What will happen of the anonymity of cash?

Security vulnerabilities printed onto banknotes (1)

fnj (64210) | more than 3 years ago | (#34644654)

What could POSSIBLY go wrong?

Re:Security vulnerabilities printed onto banknotes (2)

durrr (1316311) | more than 3 years ago | (#34644688)

Thives get RFID readers with antennas, check how much you are carrying and only pick high value targets.
Oh, and no use carrying a "fake" wallet with low bills. They'll scan you just to make sure they got everything once again after you hand over the wallet.

Re:Security vulnerabilities printed onto banknotes (1)

LC Trucido (1934100) | more than 3 years ago | (#34644802)

Not with one of these [thinkgeek.com] , they won't...

Re:Security vulnerabilities printed onto banknotes (1)

Minwee (522556) | more than 3 years ago | (#34645030)

Or, if you're serious, you could try one of these [cockeyed.com] .

Re:Security vulnerabilities printed onto banknotes (1)

Lilith's Heart-shape (1224784) | more than 3 years ago | (#34644832)

Good. That gives me time to get out my pistol and kill the thieves. Then I'll take their wallets, turnabout being fair play.

Re:Security vulnerabilities printed onto banknotes (1)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | more than 3 years ago | (#34645106)

At close range, getting out a gun is useless. Even Miyomoto Musashi said guns and bows were supreme weapons on the battlefield ... until you're within sword clashing distance. You can't turn fast enough to point the tip of a sword at an attacker; but you can bring the broad side up to block the other sword. Similarly, if you're within stabbing range it's too late to "get out my gun." If you already have a gun pointed at you, it's also well into too late.

The threat model for carrying a gun is when you notice the attacker outside of the effective range of a knife/sword/jo/nunchaku/fist AND he doesn't have a gun/crossbow. Mind you if he does have a firearm, at range, you have a chance of evading it; if he's within stabbing range though, he's not going to miss. With a gun pointed at your face you're screwed; with a knife, forget the gun and go hand-to-hand. Hand-to-hand because reaching for a knife is also wasting time; you are faced with a weapon now and need to react now. This isn't the movies; you can't pull out a huge knife and start cutting up his leather jacket. There will be no penis contest; he will kill you with his smaller penis-blade while you're unzipping.

Re:Security vulnerabilities printed onto banknotes (1)

camperslo (704715) | more than 3 years ago | (#34644912)

Maybe a quick toasting in a microwave oven would help. It's probably easier than carrying your cash in tin foil. What else is there? The dollar coin? Maybe they'll soon make $20 or $50 coins.
Gotta have change for the parking meter...

The sniffing for high value idea has been used before. I read that some sniffed for wireless MAC strings with an Apple vendor ID as the first half of the address to target places to break into.

What's the point? (3, Insightful)

Skidborg (1585365) | more than 3 years ago | (#34644682)

All that money won't be worth the paper it's printed on in a few years anyway.

Re:What's the point? (1)

Elder Entropist (788485) | more than 3 years ago | (#34644710)

Because now it will be, with the gold and electronics built-in.

Wait, what? (1)

gabereiser (1662967) | more than 3 years ago | (#34644684)

Wasn't RFID hacked some while back? What makes them think this is unhackable? Counterfeiting will just get more elaborate that's all.... They'll find a way to do the same thing once these are out in the wild...

RFID Money ?! Get your asbestos undies (2)

meerling (1487879) | more than 3 years ago | (#34644694)

I wonder if their new banknotes will survive the US money test.

Assuming it does and gets adopted by countries, it'll be time for the shielded wallets that are RFID proof.
I figure a flame war will start over this somewhere :)

Here are just a few of those sites you can get those shielded wallets from for the more paranoid amongst you : )

http://www.thinkgeek.com/gadgets/security/8cdd/
http://www.idstronghold.com/
http://www.tamperseal.com/rfid-blocking-leather-wallet-p-332.html
http://rfidwallet.org/

And then wikileaks would ... (1)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | more than 3 years ago | (#34644708)

... publish the secret salt bits added to the hash to sign the note digitally and we will be back to square one.

bitcoin (1)

mestar (121800) | more than 3 years ago | (#34644712)

You should check out Bitcoins. http://www.bitcoin.org/ [bitcoin.org] The mathematics behind it are genius. I wander how long it will take before governments try to shut it down.

Re:bitcoin (1)

RaymondKurzweil (1506023) | more than 3 years ago | (#34644988)

Assuming this ever gained momentum: Lovely, so they think they can impose an absolute cap from the outright on Bitcoin currency and not be affected like everyone else by deflation. The ability to increase money supply has proven to be quite necessary (not even bringing in QE2 or the recent BS).. of course if you are convinced that the US is in hyperinflation right now because of some toolbags on Youtube I guess this is an argument not worth having..

And LOL I guess there is an article on their wiki about this very issue.

Whatever.

Re:bitcoin (1)

KublaiKhan (522918) | more than 3 years ago | (#34645072)

If it became necessary to inflate the bitcoin supply, issuing a new series based on the same algorithm would be more than possible, by the looks of it. O'course, calibrating the exchange rate between bitcoin.v.1 and bitcoin.v.2 would be a fun exercise in applied economic theory...

Or, alternatively, the bitcoins are technically divisible by several places more than is currently supported. Updating the clients for one more decimal place gives you more options.

Re:bitcoin (1)

KublaiKhan (522918) | more than 3 years ago | (#34644990)

A more effective way would be for the NSA to run the client on its server farms for a few days, and amass a controlling interest in the concern ;-p

Washing machine defeats security (2)

perpenso (1613749) | more than 3 years ago | (#34644726)

And how durable is the circuitry? Abrasion, water, folding, chemicals (ex. laundry soap), etc are usually hazardous to circuitry. Seems like there will be a few false positives, assuming of course they could even manufacture such notes in a cost effective and reliable manner. The US is already having problems printing its own money.

Re:Washing machine defeats security (1)

KublaiKhan (522918) | more than 3 years ago | (#34644818)

That would likely be why they want to deposit so many of them--so that if they wear or wash off, there will still be enough of 'em to work.

Re:Washing machine defeats security (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34644846)

Exactly what I thought when I read this.
Will it last and is it worth the trouble?

I see some pretty crummy cash sometimes and I have a hard time believing the electronics layer would last more than a month or two under normal wallet/pocket/g-string conditions.

Maybe it would work better if they only have the new tech on $20s and up?

And then there is privacy and security to consider.. Wouldnt cops or criminals use it to detect caches of cash from a few meters away?

That's okay (2)

itsownreward (688406) | more than 3 years ago | (#34644728)

This is nothing a few seconds in the microwave won't fix.

Of course, I had to use a hammer to fix my passport's problem.

Re:That's okay (2)

mark-t (151149) | more than 3 years ago | (#34644828)

Yup... but then places could easily refuse to accept it... just as some places right now already refuse to take 50 or 100 dollar bills because they fear counterfeiting issues. You would have to take an extra trip to the bank to exchange it for something that the business would take, or else do business elsewhere.

"simplification" ??? (2)

l2718 (514756) | more than 3 years ago | (#34644742)

Do we really want to

... simplify banknote tracking.

At the moment, cash is basically the only (mostly) anonymous means of payment available. Since when is less anonymous is a good idea?

Re:"simplification" ??? (1)

zero_out (1705074) | more than 3 years ago | (#34644798)

Do we really want to

... simplify banknote tracking.

At the moment, cash is basically the only (mostly) anonymous means of payment available. Since when is less anonymous is a good idea?

When you're a government agency, or corporation. Remember, corporations control the (U.S.) government, and the government controls the money. Sure, any group can create its own form of currency, and some communities/municipalities have done just that. Just try to exchange that local currency for anything outside of town, however, and it all falls apart.

Re:"simplification" ??? (1)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 3 years ago | (#34644906)

Do we really want to

... simplify banknote tracking.

At the moment, cash is basically the only (mostly) anonymous means of payment available. Since when is less anonymous is a good idea?

Since we decided that this whole freedom thing that those hippies who founded this nation so adored was over rated. And then we decided to try out a fascist police state and corporate kleptocracy run by a class of people who have the right to be given more money, not for work, but because they already have a lot of money.

Where's George? (2)

snookerhog (1835110) | more than 3 years ago | (#34644752)

what was wrong with using where's george [wheresgeorge.com] to track the usage of bills?

seriously though, once cash is traceable, it ceases to be useful. unless they only use it on very large bills and they reinstate the higher denomination bills [wikipedia.org]

Anti-counterfeiting prior art (1)

srussia (884021) | more than 3 years ago | (#34644762)

Archimedes' principle. The Fisch [fisch.co.za] implementation is pretty good.

Why not just use Polymer notes? (5, Insightful)

metrix007 (200091) | more than 3 years ago | (#34644790)

They were developed by the Aussie government in the 80's, and they are basically impossible to counterfeit. They are also waterproof, near indestructible etc.
Poorer countries such as Nicaragua, Nigeria, Bangladesh and Kuwait use them, so why have other countries not caught up?

This isn't just the US, but the EU and UK as well. Why stick to paper when much more advanced tech has been around for over 20 years and is being used by third world countries?

Re:Why not just use Polymer notes? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34644850)

UK doesn't use paper notes. We use cotton and linen rag instead. Probably the same for US since paper deteriorates quickly in the pocket.

Re:Why not just use Polymer notes? (2)

glwtta (532858) | more than 3 years ago | (#34645120)

UK doesn't use paper notes. We use cotton and linen rag instead.

Those are also called paper - if it's made out of pressed fibers, it's paper. And, indeed, apparently bank notes are usually made of cotton paper.

Re:Why not just use Polymer notes? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34644868)

The US, apparently, doesn't want to licence the technology.

But yeah, I've got a $5 AU bill from my first trip there in 2004. It's a mid 1990 series. Excellent condition for a bill. It's hard to find a 2006 series $1 US in as good condition as that fiver.

Re:Why not just use Polymer notes? (1)

theNAM666 (179776) | more than 3 years ago | (#34645140)

>Poorer countries such as Nicaragua, Nigeria, Bangladesh and Kuwait use them,

Yes, but you neglect to mention that Nigeria and Bangladesh have only 10 approx. $10,000US-equivalent notes in circulation, and Nicaragua has only one of them, which constitutes its entire national reserve and is now, due to some unfortunate incidents including the intervention of a CIA stripp-- er, agent-- in the hands of a drug cartel-- in Mexico. Kuwait, finally, is *not* a poorer nation, but considers oil to be a more effective day-to-day currency.

Or ... it could be a method to track us (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 3 years ago | (#34644840)

Privacy is the opposite of Security.

Good is the opposite of Evil.

Thought crime is when you admit that having Three Wars of Foreign Adventure against Iraq, Iran, and Afghanistan when al-Qaeda isn't in any of those three countries and hasn't been in any of them for five years ... is a bad idea.

Did anyone else watch the cool Castle episode where the Burlesque club owner led a gang of counterfeiters?

Yes (1)

carrier lost (222597) | more than 3 years ago | (#34644858)

...but adding electronic circuits programmed to confirm the note's authenticity is perhaps the ultimate deterrent...

Because everyone knows it's impossible to spoof electronics.

Re:Yes (1)

Minwee (522556) | more than 3 years ago | (#34645088)

And I'm sure that nobody would ever consider that there are about a hundred individual circuits in each newly minted bill, but that a counterfeit note would need only a few of those to pass as genuine.

The better to fleece your with, my dear, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34644936)

If I have an RFID reader, will I be able to tell how much cash the mark is holding?

Wear & Tear? (1)

SiaFhir (686401) | more than 3 years ago | (#34644940)

What happens when the note has been exchanged continuously from person to person for several years? The note will start to wear. How will those circuits hold up? I don't want to be arrested for suspected counterfeiting because the circuits in the note happened to fail while it was in my wallet.

So... (1)

xclr8r (658786) | more than 3 years ago | (#34644994)

When you bring this note back in after 25-30 years and they sorry the note doesn't check out.

1. You just lost money.
2. You look like a criminal.
3. Bank profits as usual.

Read more? (1)

gellern (1045842) | more than 3 years ago | (#34645026)

The author didn't included the ending paragraph of the article, which is: Although the researchers have yet to work out how the organic electronics could be harnessed as an anti-counterfeit measure [hey, but this stuff is really cool], the circuits are able to perform simple computing operations [yes, they have etched a perfect circuit board that looks like a $20 bill].

Zimbabwe solved the counterfeiting problem... (1)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 3 years ago | (#34645056)

Noone tries to counterfeit Zimbabwean dollars anymore, because counterfeit money would actually be more valuable than real ZWD...

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