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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Venezuela issues new (already worthless) banknotes

Venezuela is in the midst of complete financial and political meltdown so the inflation is skyrocketing. In response to this situation the government has issued three new banknotes of 10,000, 20,000 and 50,000 bolivars.

Will this help the people of Venezuela, potentially one of the richest countries of South America? No. At the moment the 50,000-bolivars note is about 0,20 USD worth. So it appears these notes are only interesting for collectors of hyperinflation currency or for people from Venezuela who have run out of toilet paper. 

p.s. I would've posted a link to the website of the Central Bank but the website is offline at the moment... 

Picture source: banknotenews.com

Steven Sunday 23 June 2019 at 09:55 am | | news | Two comments

Singapore issues commemorative 20-dollar note

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has issued a 20-dollar commemorative note on 5 June 2019. The note celebrates Singapore's Bicentennial. From the press release:

"The front of the commemorative note features a portrait of Mr Yusof Ishak, Singapore’s first President, alongside the former Supreme Court and City Hall, which are now the National Gallery Singapore. These two national monuments witnessed many key events in Singapore’s passage to nationhood, including the swearing-in of the state government in 1963 and Singapore’s first national day parade in 1966.

The back of the note showcases eight pioneering individuals who were part of a broad cast who arrived from different lands and made significant contributions to nation building in diverse areas ranging from education, culture and community service to sports and defending Singapore.  Please refer to Annex A for the profiles of the eight individuals.

The eight individuals are portrayed against a backdrop of the old Singapore River, flowing into present-day Singapore. The river was at the heart of Singapore’s development as a trading port, and later our transformation into a business and financial hub.

The note also features a multi-coloured lattice-work that reflects Singapore’s rich and diverse cultural tapestry. The '20' denomination, Singapore Coat of Arms, Singapore Bicentennial logo, and the years '1819' and '2019' are depicted in gold with dynamic optical effects in a security stripe.

The $20 commemorative note was designed by local artists Mr Eng Siak Loy and Mr Weng Ziyan.

Each note comes with a specially designed folder."

Steven Wednesday 12 June 2019 at 9:46 pm | | news | No comments
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Aruba issues new series of banknotes

The Centrale Bank van Aruba has issued its new series of banknotes. From the press release at the time of announcement: "The new series florin banknotes will have a complete new design and contain the latest security features. To realize this important project the CBA has worked closely with local artists, local and international experts, and the internationally renowned banknote producer Crane Currency, and thereby meet as much as possible the high international standards."

Well, they've certainly met the highest standard: just look at those beautiful notes! I feel a nomination for the Banknote of the Year coming up... 





Steven Wednesday 12 June 2019 at 9:35 pm | | news | No comments
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Kenya finally issues new series

The Central Bank of Kenya has taken a loooong time to introduce its new banknote series but it seems that finally we have some images of the new notes. On 31 May 2019 the new series was issued to the public. 

The notes all show the Big Five on the back (buffalo, leopard, rhinoceros, lion and elephant) and the Kenyatta International Conference Centre on the front. The theme of the series and the separate notes is the richness of the people and nature in Kenya. 

  • 50 shillings: Green Energy
  • 100 shillings: Agriculture
  • 200 shilling, Social Services
  • 500 shillings, Tourism
  • 1,000 shillings, Governance





Steven Wednesday 12 June 2019 at 9:21 pm | | news | No comments
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The Gambia removes Jammeh's portrait on new series

According to an article on Gambiana.com the Central Bank of the Gambia has announced it will issue a new series of banknotes without the portrait of former president Jammeh.

"Former Gambian president Yahya Jammeh changed the pictures on dalasi paper notes and replaced them with his portraits after his 2011 landslide victory.

But this alteration on all the dalasi paper notes ranging from the 5 dalasi was widely viewed among Gambians as a political motive of Jammeh towards rigid dictatorship.

And in 2018, the central Bank of the Gambia announced that it will remove the portraits of the exile former Gambian president Jammeh and replace it with pictures that are representative of the Gambia’s historical sites and its rich flora and fauna."

The new notes will enter circulation in June 2019. 

Steven Wednesday 12 June 2019 at 9:15 pm | | news | No comments
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Eastern Caribbean Central Bank announces new series

The Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) has announced a new polymer series of banknotes. The series starts with the new 50-dollar note which will be issued in June 2019. The 100-, 20- and 10-dollar notes will be issued around September of this year and the 5-dollar note around September of 2020. 

The new 50-dollar note bears the image of the late Governor of the ECCB, the Honourable Sir K. Dwight Venner. The new notes will be printed by De La Rue on Safeguard. The current notes will continue to circulate side-by-side with the new series. 

Steven Wednesday 12 June 2019 at 9:05 pm | | news | No comments

Samoa announces commemorative 10-tala banknote

The Central Bank of Samoa has announced it intends to issue a commemorative 10-tala banknote in celebration of the XVI Pacific Games 2019 which will be held in Samoa on the 7 July 2019. 

"The $10 banknote will be the second polymer banknote issued in Samoa and the first carbon offset banknote created from the polymer substrate. 

Governor Ainuu-Enari said, "The new $10 Tala banknote design, celebrates the youth of Samoa and our sporting legacy.  Their stories of daily life and the realization of their sporting dreams are told through images placed on the note."

The Governor also said, the new banknote is one of a kind for Samoa as it will have a horizontal front and a vertical back.  The security features will be easy to recognize and deter counterfeiting.  With features including the Pacific Games logo depicted as a clear window with flames color gravure that support the clear window shape.  A mask feature beside the clear window appears as a plain printed green pattern when held up to the light, the number 10 appears as well as a pattern of raised dots to help the visually impaired.

This new banknote will be circulated with the existing 10 tala which will remain legal tender."

Steven Friday 31 May 2019 at 7:06 pm | | news | No comments