Wednesday

6th Jul 2022

Radio chips to record use of large euro notes

The European Central Bank is working with technology partners on a project to embed radio frequency identification tags into the fibres of euro notes by 2005, the EE Times reports.

The integration of an RFID antenna and chip on a bank note is technically possible, but no bank notes in the world today employ such a technology. The technology allows money to carry its own history by recording information about where it has been and could make it very difficult, for example, for kidnappers to ask for "unmarked" bills. Further, a tag would give governments and law enforcement agencies a means to literally "follow the money" in illegal transactions.

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A spokesman for the European Central Bank (ECB) in Frankfurt, Germany has confirmed the existence of a project, but was careful not to comment on its technologies, according to the EE Times.

Critics say it's unclear if the technology can be implemented at a cost that can justify the effort, and question whether it is robust enough to survive the rough life of paper money.

It is unclear whether the ECB will incorporate RFID chips into all euro bank notes or just on the larger bills. The euro 200 and euro 500 bank notes in particular are expected to be popular in the black economy. Embedding a 30 cents chip into a euro 500 bill would make more sense than putting it into the smaller notes, several industry sources told the EE Times.

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