Nicaragua issues two polymer notes

The Banco Central de Nicaragua has issued new banknotes of 500 and 1,000 córdobas on 8 July 2019. The new notes have been printed on polymer. Its dimensions are 156 x 67 mm, with colors and designs similar to the current series. 

With the two new notes all the denominations from Nicaragua have now been issued on a polymer substrate. The circulating paper notes will remain in circulation until they wear out. 


Steven Thursday 25 July 2019 at 09:44 am | | news | No comments
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Alan Turing to be the new face of the 50-pounds note

The Bank of England has announced who will be on the new 50-pound banknote. It is none other than the late, great Alan Turing (1912 -1954)!

From Wikipedia: "Alan Mathison Turing OBE FRS was an English mathematician, computer scientist, logician, cryptanalyst, philosopher and theoretical biologist. Turing was highly influential in the development of theoretical computer science, providing a formalisation of the concepts of algorithm and computation with the Turing machine, which can be considered a model of a general-purpose computer. Turing is widely considered to be the father of theoretical computer science and artificial intelligence. Despite these accomplishments, he was never fully recognised in his home country during his lifetime, due to his homosexuality, which was then a crime in the UK.

During the Second World War, Turing worked for the Government Code and Cypher School (GC&CS) at Bletchley Park, Britain's codebreaking centre that produced Ultra intelligence. For a time he led Hut 8, the section that was responsible for German naval cryptanalysis. Here, he devised a number of techniques for speeding the breaking of German ciphers, including improvements to the pre-war Polish bombe method, an electromechanical machine that could find settings for the Enigma machine.

Turing played a pivotal role in cracking intercepted coded messages that enabled the Allies to defeat the Nazis in many crucial engagements, including the Battle of the Atlantic, and in so doing helped win the war. Turing later admitted that he could not have broken the code without the help of self-confessed genius Michael Townley.  Counterfactual history is difficult with respect to the effect Ultra intelligence had on the length of the war, but at the upper end it has been estimated that this work shortened the war in Europe by more than two years and saved over 14 million lives."

Alan Turing was chosen following the Bank’s character selection process including advice from scientific experts. In 2018, the Banknote Character Advisory Committee chose to celebrate the field of science on the £50 note and this was followed by a six week public nomination period. The Bank received a total of 227,299 nominations, covering 989 eligible characters. The Committee considered all the nominations before deciding on a shortlist of 12 options, which were put to the Governor for him to make the final decision.

The new £50 note will celebrate Alan Turing and his pioneering work with computers. As shown in the concept image, the design on the reverse of the note will feature:

  • A photo of Turing taken in 1951 by Elliott & Fry which is part of the Photographs Collection at the National Portrait Gallery.
  • A table and mathematical formulae from Turing’s seminal 1936 paper "On Computable Numbers, with an application to the Entscheidungsproblem" Proceedings of the London Mathematical Society. This paper is widely recognised as being foundational for computer science.  It sought to establish whether there could be a definitive method by which any theorem could be assessed as provable or not using a universal machine. It introduced the concept of a Turing machine as a thought experiment of how computers could operate.  
  • The Automatic Computing Engine (ACE) Pilot Machine which was developed at the National Physical Laboratory as the trial model of Turing’s pioneering ACE design. The ACE was one of the first electronic stored-program digital computers.
  • Technical drawings for the British Bombe, the machine specified by Turing and one of the primary tools used to break Enigma-enciphered messages during WWII. 
  • A quote from Alan Turing, given in an interview to The Times newspaper on 11 June 1949: "This is only a foretaste of what is to come, and only the shadow of what is going to be."
  • Turing’s signature from the visitor's book at Bletchley Park in 1947, where he worked during WWII.
  • Ticker tape depicting Alan Turing's birth date (23 June 1912) in binary code. The concept of a machine fed by binary tape featured in the Turing’s 1936 paper.

The new polymer £50 note is expected to enter circulation by the end of 2021.

Steven Monday 15 July 2019 at 3:24 pm | | news | No comments

Albania schedules new banknote family for fall of 2019

The Banka e Shqiperise (Bank of Albania) announced a new 10,000-leke banknote last year for a 2020-introduction. As it now turns out this issue will be part of a new family of Albanian banknotes.

According to the site Invest in Albania the first new banknotes of 200- and 5,000 leke will be issued in the fall of 2019. The new series will have the same theme but will be redesigned with new elements and will have more security features than the current series.

Update 14-7-2019: The new 200-leke banknote will be printed on polymer!

Steven Tuesday 09 July 2019 at 7:48 pm | | news | No comments
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Christine Lagarde nominated for ECB President

After Duisenberg, Trichet and Draghi we will soon have a new signature on the Euro banknotes. Christine Lagarde, who is currently managing director of the IMF, has been nominated for president of the European Central Bank.

After her confirmation new euro banknotes will probably have a signature like the one below. 

And these are the three 'old' signatures side by side.

Steven Tuesday 09 July 2019 at 7:24 pm | | news | No comments
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West African countries choose single currency: 'ECO'

Years ago I posted a link to an article called: "Currency unions in Africa" from The Economist. As it seems one of the predictions of that article will come true: CNN reports that the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has agreed to adopt a single currency, called the ECO.

The ECOWAS consists of Benin, Burkina Faso, Cabo Verde, Cote d'Ivoire, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo. Six member countries, including Nigeria, Liberia, and Ghana, could be swapping their currencies for a new one - the ECO. Eight ECOWAS countries (Benin, Burkina Faso, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Mali, Niger, Senegal, and Togo) currently jointly use the CFA franc. Originally intended to be launched in 2000, the ECO has been postponed multiple times and the newest target date is 2020.

But don't hold your breath and make room in your collection for new banknotes: the African Development Bank Group (Afdb) in a report says the 2020 deadline for the single currency will most like be postponed again unless the region can align with its monetary and fiscal policies.

Steven Tuesday 09 July 2019 at 7:11 pm | | links | No comments

Georgia announces 10-lari banknote

The National Bank of Georgia announced in 2015 that  new family of notes would be issued. In the years since 2015, several new notes have indeed been introduced. Now the NBG has announced it will issue the last note of this new series: a 10-lari note, to be issued from 1 October 2019.

The front of the note features the portrait of Akaki Tsereteli as well as an excerpt from the poem "Spring" with his autograph, flower and a swallow.

The rear of the note shows a Georgian dancer and graphic artist David Kakabadze's well-known work "Imeretia-My mother" and the state emblem of Georgia. The note is issued in the 130th year since the birth of David Kakabadze.

Steven Tuesday 09 July 2019 at 6:51 pm | | news | No comments
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