Lesotho to issue new 200-loti note

Lesotho, the enclaved country which is completely surrounded bij South Africa, is planning on introducing a new 200-loti banknote in the near future. The new note will be issued "as soon as all the necessary formalities are completed". 

Steven Saturday 27 February 2016 at 5:18 pm | | news | No comments
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Nepal to promote Buddha's birthplace on all banknotes

The Central Bank of Nepal (Nepal Rastra Bank) has decided that from next year the information on the birthplace of Buddha (claimed by Nepal to be the town of Lumbini) will be put on all future banknotes. The move to include the name of the birthplace on the new 100-rupees notes sparked a bit of controversy in 2013 because India also claims to have the birthplace of Buddha in its borders.

Steven Monday 15 February 2016 at 3:10 pm | | news | No comments
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Kazakhstan banknotes will have one signature less

From now on the national currency of the Republic of Kazakhstan (the tenge) will not contain the signature of the Chairman of the National Bank. Head of State Nursultan Nazarbayev signed the corresponding decree on 4 February 2016.

Steven Monday 15 February 2016 at 3:05 pm | | news | No comments
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Mary Somerville on next 10-pound note from the RBS

Recently I wrote about the Royal Bank of Scotland who had to chose a new face to put on its new polymer 10-pound note. The RBS had narrowed it down to three scientists. My prediction which scientist would be the winner was accurate it seems. The Royal Bank of Scotland reports that Mary Somerville has been chosen as the new face on the 10-pound note. 

With that decision Mary Somerville will be the first woman on a banknote from the Royal Bank of Scotland besides the Queen. The RBS used its Facebook page to choose a winner by letting other users liking the photo of one of the three scientists. Mary Somerville seemed to be the clear winner but suddenly there was a last minute surge in votes for Thomas Telford. Facebook users immediately sounded the alarm and the voting was halted by the RBS pending further investigation. It was soon clear that a vast majority of votes for Thomas Telford were the result of so-called likebots.

From the Independent: "Dr Alice Prochaska, the principal of the University of Oxford’s Somerville College which was named after the female scientist, previously said she deserved to win. Describing her as "one of the greatest science writers of the 19th century", she argued that Somerville was a "fantastic role model" for young female scientists."

The new 10-pound notes will be issued in the second half of 2017. For more information on Mary Somerville, you can visit her Wiki

Thanks to Frank for giving me the heads-up!

Update 28-4-2016: below the final design for the note.

Steven Monday 15 February 2016 at 2:40 pm | | news | No comments
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Australia to issue new series from 1 September 2016

The Reserve Bank of Australia will issue the first note of its new series, the 5-dollar note, on 1 September 2016. This is National Wattle Day in Australia, where the wattle is a family of trees and shrubs common in Australia. The new notes will each feature a different type of Australian wattle. 

The new notes will retain the same colors, size and people depicted on each denomination. The full design of the new notes will be revealed mid-2016. 

Steven Saturday 13 February 2016 at 4:42 pm | | news | No comments
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Will the ECB discontinue the 500-euro note?

Recently I attended a seminar on underground banking (for an explanation click here. It's in Dutch but I think it's also understandable for non-Dutch speakers). Among the many interesting things explained there, they also showed how easy it is to transfer large sums of cash money when you just use large denominations. For instance, when you use 500-euro notes, a pile of 100 notes totals 50,000 euro but is so small you can carry it in a envelope. A quarter of a million euros can be carried in a carton of milk. 

It's precisely this reason why more and more people are calling for the abandonment of the 500-euro notes. In 2010, Britain's Serious Organised Crime Agency estimated that 90 percent of 500-euro banknotes sold from exchange bureaus in the country were in the hands of organized criminals. The European Central Bank has now indicated that it will indeed investigate if the 500-euro note has to be continued.

"From my point of view, the arguments in favour of keeping it are less and less convincing," [executive board member Benoit] Coeure said, but acknowledged that some people, "notably in Germany" were concerned about the disappearance of payments in cash. The €500 bills account for just 3% of the total number of banknotes in circulation, but 28% of the total value, according to ECB statistics. Any decision regarding their possible withdrawal would be taken by the ECB's governing council, the 25-member board comprising six executive board members and the 19 central bank governors of the member states. 

The 500-euro banknote is one of the most valuable banknotes in the world. In 2014 Singapore decided that the then most valuable banknote in the world, its 10,000-dollar note, wouldn't be issued anymore. If the 500-euro would suffer the same faith, the soon to be issued 1,000-francs from Switzerland would be the most valuable note in the world.

Steven Saturday 13 February 2016 at 4:09 pm | | news | No comments
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Which of these three scientists will go on the 10-pound?

The Royal Bank of Scotland has narrowed its list of faces to put on the new polymer 10-pound note down to three scientists. According to this statement the two men and one woman are: James Clerk Maxwell, Mary Somerville and Thomas Telford.

"More than 400 people took part in the selection of the 128 nominees, who had to be Scottish historical figures or people who had made a major contribution to Scotland in science and innovation.

Maxwell (1831-1879), a hero of Albert Einstein, discovered the unified theory of electricity and magnetism.

Somerville (1780-1872) was a pioneer as a female scientist when women’s participation was discouraged. Her writings ultimately led to the discovery of the planet Neptune.

Telford (1757-1843) built more than 1,000 miles of roads in his lifetime and in Scotland designed harbors, tunnels and the Caledonian Canal."

I'll put my money on mrs. Somerville. They could all go on the new banknote of course but I think Mary Somerville is the most politically correct choice to make, which seems to matter these days on the British isles.

Steven Friday 05 February 2016 at 8:54 pm | | news | Three comments
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Philippines releases 100-piso note with altered color

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP: the Central Bank of the Philippines) had announced last year that the 100-piso note would get a slightly different color because too many people confused it with the 1,000-piso note. Well, on 1 February 2016 the new radically different banknote has been issued to the public. Below the old 100-piso note, the new 100-piso note and for the sake of comparison the 1,000-piso note. 

The BSP: "Compared with the current color of the 100-Piso banknote in circulation, the new 100-Piso banknote will have stronger mauve or violet color on the obverse and reverse sides. All the other features of the said banknote will remain the same."

Steven Friday 05 February 2016 at 8:41 pm | | news | No comments
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