Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

New US $20 bills Released, Colors & Layout Change

CmdrTaco posted more than 11 years ago | from the when-piracy-really-matters dept.

The Almighty Buck 1051

JayBonci writes "CNN is running a story with the newest advances in the original copy-protection arms race, a new US $20 dollar bill. From the article, specifically color and different number arrangements as an improvement over 1996's "Big Face" dollar bills." Little off the norm for Slashdot, but it's interesting since computers have vastly simplified forgery.

cancel ×

1051 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Firsty posty (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5945329)

A mug of frosty piss for all my comrades.

WHAT IS THIS, BOLIVIA? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5945388)

That money is far too colorful for me.

not tempting to me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5945334)

While making fake ID's, trying to change grades, view financial info all sound interesting to at least try, forging money has never even interested me. i wonder why that is?

Re:not tempting to me (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5945566)

Because you're a rich fag.

hrm (-1, Redundant)

xtac (597314) | more than 11 years ago | (#5945335)

Interesting now I will open up ps7

Yay! (0)

B3ryllium (571199) | more than 11 years ago | (#5945336)

New play money!

Are they brazilian-looking?

Re:Yay! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5945380)

Yeah, they're big-boobed!

Re:Yay! (1)

GMontag (42283) | more than 11 years ago | (#5945398)

Are they brazilian-looking?

I hope not! Pictures of dead Presidents from the neck up are fine. Backsides have no place on US money, well, unless it is like a J-Lo backside (I know she is not Brazilian, but she should be).

Anyone got any photos? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5945341)

I need to update my money supply. Better pick up a new ink cartridge, too.

First the Wall Street Journal (-1, Flamebait)

Bame Flait (672982) | more than 11 years ago | (#5945342)

And now the 20 dollar bill. This is yet another pathetic marketing ploy by the Bush administration to restore faith in America's currency.. but all they're really doing is earning the snickers of the world community when it looks like they're reaching into the monopoly box to fund our government.

pwned, fr0sty

Re:First the Wall Street Journal (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5945423)

Oh, shut up troll.

It's not a ploy by the Bush administration to update currency, it's a mandate of the Treasury Dept, and always has been.

And it's not Americas currency, it's the worlds currency. They didn't find cases and cases full of Pesos or Euros in underground bunkers in Baghdad.

Re:First the Wall Street Journal (0, Flamebait)

Gortbusters.org (637314) | more than 11 years ago | (#5945432)

First they went for Baltic Avenue (afghanistan), but there was nothing but poor land there so they mortgaged it instead of putting up hotels.

Now they've got board walk (Iraq) and really want to put up hotels but there are sanctions against putting up hotels!

Re:First the Wall Street Journal (0, Offtopic)

doublem (118724) | more than 11 years ago | (#5945438)

Except for the fact that all the other countries have even more colorful cash than we do.

We've been the boring, dull snooze fest for ages. Everyone else has money that looks a lot more like monopoly cash than ours.

This change still leaves us one of the more boring nations in terms of our currency.

Re:First the Wall Street Journal (1)

Surak (18578) | more than 11 years ago | (#5945444)

Ummmm...Alan Greenspan introduced the bill, and Alan Greenspan is most decidedly *not* a member of the Bush administration.

Re:First the Wall Street Journal (2, Interesting)

Wakkow (52585) | more than 11 years ago | (#5945445)

Um.. huh? There has always been talk about redesigning the currency here in the US.. Many other countries have much stronger copy protection, but it seems the Treasury Department is afraid of freaking people out with a completely new look and feel to the bills. I mean, it has been almost 100 years of the same green/black.

Hmmm (5, Funny)

Gortbusters.org (637314) | more than 11 years ago | (#5945350)

is the next story for today, "How to use your Linux machine for forgery?"

This is off the norm, with the decline in jobs I don't see too many 20s! :(

Re:Hmmm (5, Funny)

Surak (18578) | more than 11 years ago | (#5945539)

You need SANE, a scanner supported by SANE, The GIMP, a modern printing system (CUPS is pretty good), and a good inkjet printer supporting on your printing system of choice.

First you ... &^&*^(*^%^&%*&%%*%* %%^T&(

THIS USER HAS BEEN ARRESETED UNDER THE U.S. PATRIOT ACT. MOVE ALONG, NOTHING TO SEE HERE.

Have old bills? (4, Funny)

Joe the Lesser (533425) | more than 11 years ago | (#5945351)

Send them to me and I'll dispose of them in an environmentally safe way.

Article text (-1, Redundant)

Mr. McGibby (41471) | more than 11 years ago | (#5945353)

$20 bill gets a facelift
The new note features subtle shades of pink and blue and a new background.
May 13, 2003: 11:12 AM EDT
By Mark Gongloff, CNN/Money staff writer

WASHINGTON (CNN/Money) - The $20 bill got a facelift Tuesday, complete with new colors, a new number arrangement and a new background, in the government's latest effort to thwart counterfeiters.

The Treasury Department's Bureau of Engraving and Printing introduced the new design, featuring Andrew Jackson on the front -- without the old circle -- and a cluster of small 20s on the lower right-hand corner on the back. The front also depicts a faded bald eagle as a background with subtle pink and light blue hues.

The front of the new $20 bill unveiled by the Treasury Department Tuesday.

The Treasury plans to redesign bills every seven to 10 years to keep up with technological advances in counterfeiting.

"The soundness of a nation's currency is essential to the soundness of its economy. And to uphold our currency's soundness, it must be recognized and honored as legal tender and counterfeiting must be effectively thwarted,'' Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan said in a ceremony at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing.

The last redesign of American currency was in 1996, when a new $100 bill was introduced with anti-counterfeiting features such as ink that appeared black from one angle and green from another; a watermark visible only when holding the bill up to the light; and a security strip running vertically through the bill -- features that will remain in the newest currency.

Other currencies with similar features followed -- a new $50 bill in 1997, a new $20 bill in 1998 and new $5 and $10 notes in 2000.

The bill will go into circulation in the fall, and others will be redesigned in the next few years. One- and two-dollar bills will not be redesigned.

In the meantime, the Treasury Department is working with companies in the vending, gaming and public transportation industries to help them adjust their currency-reading devices to accept the new bills.

Treasury has given these companies material they can use to update bill-acceptance devices, but nothing they can spend or use to make counterfeit bills.

But some currency experts warned that the new features likely will do little to discourage counterfeiters.

"Everything they've done before has been superseded by better counterfeiters," said Dennis Forgue, an anti-counterfeiting expert at Harlan J. Berk Ltd., a numismatic firm in Chicago. "With the effectiveness of computer-generated images these days, they can make some pretty nice counterfeits pretty quickly."

Of all the counterfeit bills in circulation, about 40 percent are produced digitally, according to the Secret Service, which was established in 1865 to fight counterfeiting.

An opposing view ... click the stick.

Forgue said some counterfeiters are able to bleach the ink out of newer bills of smaller denominations, leaving just the unique currency paper and the watermark, and then print the features of a higher-denominated bill on the blank paper.

"The ones I've seen have been not that great in quality, but can pass in a lot of places," said Forgue, who doubted the features of the new bill would do anything to discourage people from this process, called "leaching."

7-10 years?!? (5, Insightful)

Phroggy (441) | more than 11 years ago | (#5945354)

Holy crap, redesigning bills every 7-10 years? What the hell are they thinking?

When the current $20 bills came out, I heard of people having trouble using them, because apparently a few people somehow didn't hear that new bills were being released so obviously thought they were counterfeit. The current bills are pretty obvious, though, now that everybody knows about them. Now they're saying there will be subtle changes every few years, so in another decade there will be like 4 different versions of the $20 bill, ALL LEGAL. If you saw a fifth version, which was counterfeit, would it be obvious to you?

Yeah, they're including new security features. That's cool and all, but how often do people really check them? Sure, on a $100, people check. On $20 they usually don't. They still go by appearance and texture, just like they always have.

Re:7-10 years?!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5945435)

Moronic Amerikans need to be educated.

That is all.

Re:7-10 years?!? (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5945453)

I don't know about that 4 different versions thing... according to this, [frb.org] the average lifespan of a 20 dollar bill is 4 years. Two different types could be in circulation at the same time, but 4?
For that matter, when was the last time you saw an "old-style" 20 from before the last redesign?

Re:7-10 years?!? (2, Interesting)

Havokmon (89874) | more than 11 years ago | (#5945484)

For that matter, when was the last time you saw an "old-style" 20 from before the last redesign?

Yesterday. No foolin.

And not everybody keeps their money in banks.

Re:7-10 years?!? (1)

meloneg (101248) | more than 11 years ago | (#5945493)

For that matter, when was the last time you saw an "old-style" 20 from before the last redesign?
Anywhere from two to six a week. I work waiting tables in a restaraunt on the weekends. In two shifts a week I usually see a few. Probably one in ten of the twenties I handle.
It's amazing what percentage of the population buys lunch on a credit card. Though check cards are the majority of them.

Best thing that could happen for funny money (5, Insightful)

doublem (118724) | more than 11 years ago | (#5945488)

This will be a boon for counter fitters.

"Don't be an ass, it's not counterfeit, it's the new twenty that just came out this fall."

All a counter fitter needs to do is come up with a bill chock full of security features and start spending it like there's no tomorrow. As people get used to the new bill every few years, it will become commonplace.

Remember the story of the person who passed a $3.00 bill with Bill Clinton's face on it? All they could charge him with was failure to pay, since he hadn't really counter fitted any money.

Re:Best thing that could happen for funny money (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5945511)

Wouldn't it have made more sense for Clinton to get the $69 bill? Heh.

I hope to make money off it again (1)

swb (14022) | more than 11 years ago | (#5945499)

When they released the new $10s (which was not long after the new $20s), I had several places where I used the new $10 give me the change as if I had given them a $20.

I think it happened 3-4 times within a week or so, I'm pretty sure I netted at least $40 off of that.

Re:I hope to make money off it again (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5945575)

fuck you

Re:7-10 years?!? (1)

Gordonjcp (186804) | more than 11 years ago | (#5945503)

What's wrong with different styles of banknotes? In the UK there are perhaps five or six different styles of each denomination of note, issued by different banks. They are all roughly the same colour as each other though.

Re:7-10 years?!? (4, Funny)

EinarH (583836) | more than 11 years ago | (#5945509)

Now they're saying there will be subtle changes every few years, so in another decade there will be like 4 different versions of the $20 bill, ALL LEGAL. If you saw a fifth version, which was counterfeit, would it be obvious to you?
[trollmode]
You live in a banana republic with almost an banana economy; so what did you expect? ;-)

Several different versions of the same bill is so thirdworldish.
[/trollmode]

The new $20 bill ... (2, Interesting)

Shant3030 (414048) | more than 11 years ago | (#5945355)

I've always been in favor of having a hologram on our currency. It seems to be an effective way to curb counterfitting. Without a change of the shape and surface area of the bill (ie. a clear patch with a hologram), just changing the colors on a bill is more of a nuisance than a deterrent.

Re:The new $20 bill ... (1)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 11 years ago | (#5945447)

I've always been in favor of having a hologram on our currency.

That's right, Microsoft have done that for years and they've never been copied. Ever.

Re:The new $20 bill ... (1)

El_Servas (672868) | more than 11 years ago | (#5945514)

That's not the point. You can't pay with xeroxed bills, but you sure can install windoze with a burned copy.

I'm guessing the cost for the bill would rise with an hologram.

Re:The new $20 bill ... (1)

uberdave (526529) | more than 11 years ago | (#5945527)

My current browser doesn't render sarcasm tags, so I'm not sure if your post is meant to be serious or humerous. However, I've never seen, or even heard about someone copying the Microsoft Hologram.

Better pics (5, Informative)

Kaeru the Frog (152611) | more than 11 years ago | (#5945357)

You can find some better pics here [moneyfactory.com] .

Re:Better pics (2, Funny)

GMontag (42283) | more than 11 years ago | (#5945460)

Don't forget to leave the word "SAMPLE" intact when printing. This is a key component in detecting fakes :-)

Re: Better pics (1)

YetAnotherName (168064) | more than 11 years ago | (#5945470)

I think I'll just run a few dozen copies of these better pics off on the old color inkjet printer and ... hey, what's this "SPECIMEN" in red ink?

Must be part of the new security features!

I'm still waiting for my taco money (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5945360)

"Do you know the name of three George Washingtons?"

"No, but I'll respond to a CmdrTaco!"

Yesh! (5, Funny)

jdehnert (84375) | more than 11 years ago | (#5945361)

If they change them any faster, You'll be able to make your own and pass them off as the latest, newest , most non counterfitiest $20.

Re:Yesh! (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 11 years ago | (#5945430)

<quote>The Treasury plans to redesign bills every seven-to-10 years to keep up with technological advances in counterfeiting.</quote>

... every 7- 10 years, so the plan is to stay 3 generations behind the counterfeiters ... good plan ... not!

More efficient (4, Funny)

L. VeGas (580015) | more than 11 years ago | (#5945362)

I can finally use all the colors in my ink-jet cartridge.

Re:More efficient (1)

EMH_Mark3 (305983) | more than 11 years ago | (#5945518)

*knock knock*
- Who's there?
- Secret Services
- Secret Services who?

Counterfitting measures updated. (5, Insightful)

Angry White Guy (521337) | more than 11 years ago | (#5945364)

It's about time the U.S. has updated their bills, but I don't think that this is enough. Take a look at British Money to see how difficult you can make it for a counterfitter. Big watermarks, multiple color dyes that penetrate the fibres of the paper. The old U.S. bills you could bleach a $1 bill clean and print a $20 dollar bill on it, and nobody would be the wiser.
Ironic that the most precious thing a nation could have would also be the cheapest.

Re:Counterfitting measures updated. (5, Funny)

legojenn (462946) | more than 11 years ago | (#5945391)

I'm surprised that they didn't include that little scratch & win thing like they have on Canadian 20s and above. Nothing makes a currency seem valuable than making it look like a lottery ticket.

Re:Counterfitting measures updated. (3, Informative)

th77 (515478) | more than 11 years ago | (#5945419)

Don't forget that in Britain (and many other countries) bills of different values have differnt physical sizes.

Re:Counterfitting measures updated. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5945557)

That's why I always carry 8 wallets. I HATE IT!

Re:Counterfitting measures updated. (5, Insightful)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 11 years ago | (#5945516)

Actually, there are the colored bands that go through the paper with the denomination printed on them. So while you can bleach a one, you cant remove the plastic strip inside that has "1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1" on it.

It's virtually impossible to replicate every single feature in modern currency. What the big counterfeiters hope for is to fool most of the people most of the time, and get an army of kids/lackies to pass the bad notes for them.

Counterfeiting is more about finding ways to pass the bills than create them - it always has been.

You have to find clerks and gas station attendents. But since most stores have you on camera, it's easier to find the guy who passed the bad bill. You'd be a complete idiot to go to Best Buy and pick up a fancy Alienware PC and 21" LCD monitor with counterfeit 20's.

Better would be strangers on the street ("hey buddy can you break a 20?"). Street level drug dealers and prostitutes no doubt get a lot of funny money.

But it's a slow, labor-intensive process.. You have to pass one note at a time, and in the smaller denominations, as to not arouse suspicion.

It's much like other organized crimes like drug dealing or bookmaking - it's not generating the money thats the problem, it's getting rid of it (laundering).

They'll probably never make an "impossible-to-duplicate" bill, but they can make the enterprise of counterfeiting so fraught with headaches and dangers that few would even bother.

Re:Counterfitting measures updated. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5945530)

The old U.S. bills you could bleach a $1 bill clean and print a $20 dollar bill on it, and nobody would be the wiser.
Are you sure it's wise to announce your experience with these techniques?

ok for now (1)

Lu Xun (615093) | more than 11 years ago | (#5945365)

And what are they going to do when we have atomic-level printing? Replication? I guess by then paper money will be a thing of the past though.

In case of slashdotting: (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5945369)

WASHINGTON (CNN/Money) - The $20 bill got a facelift Tuesday, complete with new colors, a new number arrangement and a new background, in the government's latest effort to thwart counterfeiters.

The Treasury Department's Bureau of Engraving and Printing introduced the new design, featuring Andrew Jackson on the front -- without the old circle -- and a cluster of small 20s on the lower right-hand corner on the back. The front also depicts a faded bald eagle as a background with subtle pink and light blue hues.

The Treasury plans to redesign bills every seven to 10 years to keep up with technological advances in counterfeiting.

"The soundness of a nation's currency is essential to the soundness of its economy. And to uphold our currency's soundness, it must be recognized and honored as legal tender and counterfeiting must be effectively thwarted,'' Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan said in a ceremony at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing.

The last redesign of American currency was in 1996, when a new $100 bill was introduced with anti-counterfeiting features such as ink that appeared black from one angle and green from another; a watermark visible only when holding the bill up to the light; and a security strip running vertically through the bill -- features that will remain in the newest currency.

Other currencies with similar features followed -- a new $50 bill in 1997, a new $20 bill in 1998 and new $5 and $10 notes in 2000.

The bill will go into circulation in the fall, and others will be redesigned in the next few years. One- and two-dollar bills will not be redesigned.

In the meantime, the Treasury Department is working with companies in the vending, gaming and public transportation industries to help them adjust their currency-reading devices to accept the new bills.

Treasury has given these companies material they can use to update bill-acceptance devices, but nothing they can spend or use to make counterfeit bills.

But some currency experts warned that the new features likely will do little to discourage counterfeiters.

"Everything they've done before has been superseded by better counterfeiters," said Dennis Forgue, an anti-counterfeiting expert at Harlan J. Berk Ltd., a numismatic firm in Chicago. "With the effectiveness of computer-generated images these days and with Trinity dying in Matrix 2, they can make some pretty nice counterfeits pretty quickly."

Of all the counterfeit bills in circulation, about 40 percent are produced digitally, according to the Secret Service, which was established in 1865 to fight counterfeiting.

Forgue said some counterfeiters are able to bleach the ink out of newer bills of smaller denominations, leaving just the unique currency paper and the watermark, and then print the features of a higher-denominated bill on the blank paper.

"The ones I've seen have been not that great in quality, but can pass in a lot of places," said Forgue, who doubted the features of the new bill would do anything to discourage people from this process, called "leaching."

Eww... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5945371)

Those things are f*cking ugly...

Most counterfeits look stupid (5, Insightful)

Dark Paladin (116525) | more than 11 years ago | (#5945374)

I've worked in the financial world for a bit, and I'm always surprised by how bad most counterfit bills look.

95% of the time, counterfeit bills are accepted by people who don't seem to notice that while the bill corners say $20, George Washington is in the center. Or that they're printed on normal grade paper.

I'm sure the government is making the change to the $20 for "big time" counterfeiters, but it seems like most of the time it can be prevented on the retail level by people just using their heads.

Re:Most counterfeits look stupid (1)

CausticWindow (632215) | more than 11 years ago | (#5945459)

It will make it harder for countries like Iran, who, at least in the eighties, were producing counterfeit dollars.

Re:Most counterfeits look stupid (1)

Angry White Guy (521337) | more than 11 years ago | (#5945504)

I remember watching an old PBS special about 'monetary warfare' which touched on this, as well as a couple of blurbs about the U.S. flooding Viet Nam and Korea with funny money. At one time the CIA were considered the best counterfitters in the world.

Re:Most counterfeits look stupid (1)

CausticWindow (632215) | more than 11 years ago | (#5945552)

I don't think the forging is especially difficult when you have access to the kind of resources the CIA have.

Wasn't very difficult for Iran either, they just bought a press and paper from the same people who make this equipment for the govnerment.

But... (5, Insightful)

archetypeone (599370) | more than 11 years ago | (#5945375)

they haven't changed the size?! Why is it that no blind people have sued over this?

I have some swiss francs. (4, Interesting)

Unknown Poltroon (31628) | more than 11 years ago | (#5945400)

Not only are they all different colors, with holograms and different sizes, but they also have a raised pattern on each bill, a tiragle, square or circle. I understand why tehy cant change the size of our bills easily, but a raised pattern on the bill would be easy.

Re:I have some swiss francs. (3, Insightful)

91degrees (207121) | more than 11 years ago | (#5945458)

Good in two ways - Firsty for the blind, secondly, it's that little bit of extra work for a counterfeiter.

Re:But... (1)

schovanec (535027) | more than 11 years ago | (#5945559)

In Canada, all of our bills are the same size. But the most recent designs include the denomination inprinted in Braille.

What about size? (4, Interesting)

sebi (152185) | more than 11 years ago | (#5945379)

Isn't it about time that different dollar bills start coming in different sizes? Isn't it pretty standard for counterfeiters to bleach a small denomination bill and print the image of larger ones? Different sizes would at least make this practise a bit more difficult. That doesn't stop forgery in euro-land, but it does make it just a bit more difficult. I thought that holographs would be pretty effective, but in day to day commerce nobody looks to closely. The best way to make sure that your bills are genuine is using ones that are really unpopular. Last weekend was the first time that I saw a 200 Euro bill. And that was one and a half years after the introduction of the currency.

Re:What about size? (1)

laughing_badger (628416) | more than 11 years ago | (#5945482)

The main reason for making bills a different size is to aid blind people in differentiating them. I guess that it does help prevent the bleach-and-reprint mode of forgery too.

Re:What about size? (2, Informative)

gmhowell (26755) | more than 11 years ago | (#5945542)

The other benefit of different sized bills is for the blind. You can tell denominations by feel.

Typical /. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5945385)

As usual..

No content, duplicate posts are getting old... Lets post something completely unlrelated to geekdom.

Where's the Swastika? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5945386)

Where's the Swastika, and the words "America Uber Alles"?

Obviously a hoax (0, Flamebait)

GigsVT (208848) | more than 11 years ago | (#5945387)

This is obviously a hoax.

"Dennis Forgue" is the anti-counterfeiting expert they interviewed?

Treasury has given these companies material they can use to update bill- acceptance devices, but nothing they can spend or use to make counterfeit bills.

This gives it away. Everyone knows that the Treasury department gives vending machine companies the master engravings.

If this were a real article, why didn't they interview the real experts [millbill.com]

And what is up with the ugly guy holding a stick?

From to (not!) (2, Funny)

cwernli (18353) | more than 11 years ago | (#5945389)

As long as the name doesn't change it's A-OK: immagine the dollar being called the "Amerio"...

It doesn't matter (0, Offtopic)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 11 years ago | (#5945395)

I'm color-blind, so to me it's still a green black.

Text of Article (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5945402)

$20 bill gets a facelift
The new note features subtle shades of pink and blue and a new background.
May 13, 2003: 11:12 AM EDT
By Mark Gongloff, CNN/Money staff writer

WASHINGTON (CNN/Money) - The $20 bill got a facelift Tuesday, complete with new colors, a new number arrangement and a new background, in the government's latest effort to thwart counterfeiters.

The Treasury Department's Bureau of Engraving and Printing introduced the new design, featuring Andrew Jackson on the front -- without the old circle -- and a cluster of small 20s on the lower right-hand corner on the back. The front also depicts a faded bald eagle as a background with subtle pink and light blue hues.

The Treasury plans to redesign bills every seven to 10 years to keep up with technological advances in counterfeiting.

"The soundness of a nation's currency is essential to the soundness of its economy. And to uphold our currency's soundness, it must be recognized and honored as legal tender and counterfeiting must be effectively thwarted,'' Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan said in a ceremony at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing.

The last redesign of American currency was in 1996, when a new $100 bill was introduced with anti-counterfeiting features such as ink that appeared black from one angle and green from another; a watermark visible only when holding the bill up to the light; and a security strip running vertically through the bill -- features that will remain in the newest currency.

Other currencies with similar features followed -- a new $50 bill in 1997, a new $20 bill in 1998 and new $5 and $10 notes in 2000.

The bill will go into circulation in the fall, and others will be redesigned in the next few years. One- and two-dollar bills will not be redesigned.

In the meantime, the Treasury Department is working with companies in the vending, gaming and public transportation industries to help them adjust their currency-reading devices to accept the new bills.

Treasury has given these companies material they can use to update bill-acceptance devices, but nothing they can spend or use to make counterfeit bills.

But some currency experts warned that the new features likely will do little to discourage counterfeiters.

"Everything they've done before has been superseded by better counterfeiters," said Dennis Forgue, an anti-counterfeiting expert at Harlan J. Berk Ltd., a numismatic firm in Chicago. "With the effectiveness of computer-generated images these days, they can make some pretty nice counterfeits pretty quickly."

Of all the counterfeit bills in circulation, about 40 percent are produced digitally, according to the Secret Service, which was established in 1865 to fight counterfeiting.

Forgue said some counterfeiters are able to bleach the ink out of newer bills of smaller denominations, leaving just the unique currency paper and the watermark, and then print the features of a higher-denominated bill on the blank paper.

"The ones I've seen have been not that great in quality, but can pass in a lot of places," said Forgue, who doubted the features of the new bill would do anything to discourage people from this process, called "leaching."

It looks faded in the middle (1)

Marx_Mrvelous (532372) | more than 11 years ago | (#5945406)

Any idea why they chose a color that makes it look like someone left the bill in their laundry with some bleach? I was hoping for something that looked *good* not faded. Oh well.

It's slashdotted.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5945416)

Heres a mirror! [car-buying.com]

Actually (2, Insightful)

Kelz (611260) | more than 11 years ago | (#5945426)

It looks strikingly similar to the canadian dollar or the old british pound.

Facelift extends to e-moeny too (2, Interesting)

jocks (56885) | more than 11 years ago | (#5945431)

IN the UK we are about to roll out a massive scheme whereby we don't use our signature to validate our bank card/credit card transactions, we use a PIN number instead.

I guess the days of innocence are passing, my concern is that the general public is going to be the ones that get hurt and the criminals will carry on regardless.

This will stop counterfeiting how...? (2, Insightful)

Jerk City Troll (661616) | more than 11 years ago | (#5945436)

Have you ever handed a cashier a note and had them examine it with an expert eye to determine if it was real or not? Obviously if you hand someone a piece of monopoly money, they're going to know right off the bat that it's "not real". But if I hand a clerk at Subway a counterfeited 20$USD, nobody is going to know it until the bill falls into the hands of someone who's paying attention. By then, it's covered with finger prints. Now this will make it more difficult to make similar-looking currency, but I don't see how it solves the problem.

Re:This will stop counterfeiting how...? (4, Funny)

Timesprout (579035) | more than 11 years ago | (#5945515)

This is part of a cunning plan in collusion with HP to make forging the new colour bills prohibitively expensive due to the new massive overhead of time limited, half full HP ink cartridges.

One change we won't likely see (5, Insightful)

Chagatai (524580) | more than 11 years ago | (#5945450)

While the adaptation of colors and revising the layout of the dollar bill is a nice deterrent, there is one thing that would be nice to see: dollar bills that the blind could use.

In Japan for years now, not only are the coins and dollar bills used in different colors (for easy glances to see how much money someone has), but they are of different sizes and shapes that make the coins recognizable by the blind. The 10,000 Yen bill is the longest, while the 1,000 is the shortest. Even the 5 Yen coin has a hole in it to separate it from the other coins (yes, this also goes back thousands of years to the Chinese "cash" coins).

Seeing as how all American bills are of the same size, I imagine that it must be slightly frustrating for a blind person to trust someone they don't know to be completely honest about money and take $5 instead of $50. Unfortunately, I can't see the Treasury Department putting some sort of Braille marker or other deliniating factor into future money production.

Re:One change we won't likely see (5, Informative)

antelopelovefan (255326) | more than 11 years ago | (#5945508)

I've talked about this problem with several blind people and most of them have a system (usually involving) folding the money in different ways so they know which bills they're dealing with. Several of these methods are described [io4b.org] in the Int'l Organization for the Blind [io4b.org] web page.

Re:One change we won't likely see (4, Informative)

meloneg (101248) | more than 11 years ago | (#5945525)

Unfortunately, I can't see the Treasury Department putting some sort of Braille marker or other deliniating factor into future money production.
Definately not likely [treas.gov] .

Anti-counterfeit or vending lobby? (2, Interesting)

adzoox (615327) | more than 11 years ago | (#5945478)

I read some time back that that a move like this costs the taxpayer/letter sender close to 200 MILLION everytime we change the currency (stamp machines in postoffices) and that it costs companies like Coca Cola several BILLION to change over or update their machines. It makes me think of the motive. Is it the vending machine industry or anti counterfeiting / retailers lobby?

Moves like this reak of the Sopranos. The same people that make vending/coin change machines also make lottery ticket distribution and numbering systems and slot machines!!

If the vending industry were smart they'd be lobbying for money readers REQUIRED to accept cash at retail that would authenticate bills and serial numbers OR going to plastic/mark of the beast I suppose would solve the whole thing ;)

Re:Anti-counterfeit or vending lobby? (0)

notbob (73229) | more than 11 years ago | (#5945536)

This is why we don't change the $1 often.

As $1 bills are what most vending machines use, the $5 is kind of problematic but most use the $1 bill.

Still waiting on $1 coins to be much use.

about time (1)

lexcyber (133454) | more than 11 years ago | (#5945486)

Haven't the technology for making perfect copies of dollarbills been know for the better part of half a century?

Look at australian dollars, apparantly they are the hardest to copy in the world. Also sweden has been pretty successfull with their new ideas for protecting money. Using all kinds of tricks with metal in the bills, uv-print, watermark, special paper, relief and on top of everything very complicated print
process.

moron commercing in a phonIE payper liesense.. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5945489)

hostage ransom softwar gangster stock markup ?pr? pottIE. yuk.

that can't be very gooed?

lookout bullow, iPoo(tm) may be coming to a commode near you.

from trustworthycomputing.com: dallas is won of the 6 citIEs to attain 'cyber-security' so far.

Anecdote (4, Funny)

Schnapple (262314) | more than 11 years ago | (#5945490)

True story: a friend of mine went to a popular burrito joint in town and paid for his $5 burrito with a then-new $20. The cashier somewhat blindly thinks its a then-relatively-new $100, so gives him $95 in change instead of just $15. The friend took the money and left quickly.

I told him he was all horrible and evil for doing so - but I'm not sure I wouldn't have done the same.

Becoming more and more like Europe (0, Troll)

Gothmolly (148874) | more than 11 years ago | (#5945492)

With socialization of just about everything in the US on the horizon, it's just one more step until the US becomes another European country. Stupid looking monopoly money is yet another loss of credibility.

Rumanian Lei (3, Informative)

neonstz (79215) | more than 11 years ago | (#5945505)

Some of the Rumanian lei-bills (at least the 10000 bill) are quite difficult to counterfeit (with a standard pc). They have a hole covered with transparent plastic (which also has some kind of watermarking). I don't see why anyone would counterfeit lei though, since the 10000 bill was worth 50 cents or less when I visited Bucharest.

Forgers (and whistleblowers) beware! (4, Interesting)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 11 years ago | (#5945519)

At the behest of the FBI (or maybe it is the secret service since counterfeiting is their purview) all color photocopiers in the USA embedded a watermark with a unique serial number identifying the copier used.

For some reason this fact is not well documented, but here is at least one reference [ibm.com] (pdf) in an IBM report from 1998. See the section on tracking.

This can be a problem for cheap counterfeiters (well-equipped ones won't have a problem either acquiring a copier on the blackmarket or using a modified one) but it also can suck for whistleblowers making copies of documents. If the copier used can be identified it makes it that much easier for a vengeful company/government to identify the whistleblower and take "corrective action."

But is it enough? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5945522)

American paper currency has always been a joke to the rest of the world. Because it is so easy copy. Other countries have made much better attempts at stopping this. With holograms in their notes, thin metal wires and chips.

No one thinks about the repercussions. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5945526)

This will have massive repurcussions, I predict.

Hookers, most of whom don't/can't read the papers, will not realize that this new currency is valid. There could potentially be huge fallout if the brokers on Wall Street cannot get their BJ's because their 'business partners' won't take their cash.

When can we break from paper currency? (1)

CHK6 (583097) | more than 11 years ago | (#5945528)

I'll let the subject of this post speak for itself.

It's all about september 11 (1)

Gamasta (557555) | more than 11 years ago | (#5945533)

Probably everyone has already seen this. But it's worth posting... I hope it can also be done with the new bills.

Simple origami [allbrevard.net]

More on it [glennbeck.com]

Time to verify? (3, Insightful)

Havokmon (89874) | more than 11 years ago | (#5945535)

"It will still have a different watermark and security strip. You could tell the difference in about 15 seconds," Ferguson said.

Umm. 15 seconds is the MAX time a credit card terminal should take to authorize a transaction (including dial-time which should only be once if you have a lot of customers in a line). Do they really think people are going to spend that amount of time, PER BILL for each customer?

Good security, bad taste (1)

hprotagonist0 (312387) | more than 11 years ago | (#5945544)

The last update of the bills made them look like Monopoly money. Now, they're just plain ugly. Come on, I mean: peach !?

Counterfeit Detection (4, Interesting)

non (130182) | more than 11 years ago | (#5945553)

in europe, many stores, kisoks, etc. have purchased small uv light detectors, especially after a flood of fake 50 bills. the interesting thing is that washed bills of any denomination usually fail this test. at one point i had carried a 50 that i had been told was fake by my bank for six months. i went to another bank and asked them about it, they told me that it was real, and then took me downstairs to while they checked it with the 100,000 machine they have. they also explained that there are very simple tests for checking a bill; they have little ridges stamped into the bill that can't be washed off and are very difficult to fake.

Finally... (1)

surprise_audit (575743) | more than 11 years ago | (#5945554)

Nice to see the US finally catching up with Europe...

It will still be worth less than the euro.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5945555)

The big story is the ongoing preference that money traders are showing in using the euro. The dollar used to be number one currency in the world, now it's number 2 behind the euro. Some countries and many firms around the world have stopped using dollars to pay creditors and are only using euros instead. If this trand continues the dollar will be worth less and less. Hell, we may see a dollar to dollar exchange rate between Canada and ther US someday! You know you're going downhill then!

How Long Before The Counterfeits Arrive? (1)

DoctorMabuse (456736) | more than 11 years ago | (#5945556)

The last time a new $20 was issued, the Mexican counterfeiters had a high-quality bill within a week of the release. Anyone care to venture a guess as to how long it will take the Mexicans, Iranians and other folks to have the new bill in production?

Today's helpful hint: With the right halogen-based solution, you can strip the ink from crisp new one dollar bills and end up with genuine currency paper, complete with the colored threads.

Sorry to be a pedant... (1)

arvindn (542080) | more than 11 years ago | (#5945560)

Little off the norm for Slashdot

You meant: A little off the norm for Slashdot

Dropping the article negates the meaning :)

Sigh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5945567)

Color backgrounds? Great, the idiots are trying to make real money look like monopoly money. Geez, why in the hell would the do that? Our money looks like a legal document. Now, they're going to turn it into tacky trash like the pieces of worthless paper other countries spew-out.

Request for future features (4, Funny)

guacamolefoo (577448) | more than 11 years ago | (#5945569)

Date: May 12, 2003
Re: New version of $20 bill

Dear Treasury Department (cc to Bureau of Printing and Engraving):

The new release of the product looks ok. I think it still needs some work, though. There are some additional features that I would like to see in the upcoming $20 bill v. 2.3 beta release:

1. P2P sharing
2. Centerfolds (!) (note: not Andrew Jackson - think modern, maybe Denise Richards)
3. Self-generation (try making paper from those Wizard's Apprentice broomsticks)
4. Encryption, so that only I can use my bills

BTW, please, please do implement a "software activation" thingy. That would be really lame.

Respectfully,
GF.

Hmm face on the 20$ bills (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5945570)

Is it just me or the guy on the 20$ bills look like he got hit by truck?
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?