"Why did the Royal Canadian Mint make the world's purest and largest gold bullion coin? Because we can." The Royal Canadian Mint makes all of Canada's money. They offer tours that are FULL of fascinating facts. Now, for the first time ever, see these facts at your local Metafilter website! [more inside]
Vitalik Buterin invented the world's hottest new cryptocurrency and inspired a movement — before he'd turned 20 - "I think a large part of the consequence is necessarily going to be disempowering some of these centralized players to some extent because ultimately power is a zero sum game. And if you talk about empowering the little guy, as much as you want to couch it in flowery terminology that makes it sound fluffy and good, you are necessarily disempowering the big guy. And personally I say screw the big guy. They have enough money already." [more inside]
an introduction to fiat money (pdf) by Steve Randy Waldman:* - "Self-reinforcing bootstrap dynamics hold as strongly for a king's token as it would for any other thing, but much more stably so, since the king can reinforce and assure the stability of his token so long as he retains the political capacity to coerce or persuade payment of tax." (via) [more inside]
In case you missed it Ethereum announced its first developer release a week ago. What is Ethereum? According to the video it's a "planetary scale computer powered by blockchain technology." Given the breathlessness, some skepticism is in order, but what if it purports to do on the tin is true? [more inside]
Let Us Face the Future - "All parties pay lip service to the idea of jobs for all. All parties are ready to promise to achieve that end by keeping up the national purchasing power and controlling changes in the national expenditure through Government action. Where agreement ceases is in the degree of control of private industry that is necessary to achieve the desired end. In hard fact, the success of a full employment programme will certainly turn upon the firmness and success with which the Government fits into that programme the investment and development policies of private as well as public industry." [more inside]
A demonstration of several geometric lathes, which produced anti-counterfeiting patterns for banknotes, plus a reducing lathe to make coin and medal dies. (SLYT)
Norway, which is not part of the Euro currency cooperation, has new design for its bank notes. Whereas the older note design from the 90s featured prominent Norwegians, the theme for the new currency is the ocean. One side features a pixelated motif from design giants Snøhetta, and the other side features detailed nautical images designed by The Metric System. Visual News has some coverage here, and you can look through all the submissions, including the discarded ones, in a Norwegian language PDF from Bank of Norway here. The winning design will be worked over slightly to incorporate security features, and the new bills will be in circulation from 2017.
In China, there are certain "bad notes" that frighten people and are refused as legal tender. Why?
Esquire's Chris Jones looks at the old techniques used to make the new US $100 bill.
How The Economic Machine Works by Ray Dalio actually makes a case against austerity and for redistribution, but also for money printing (and, arguably, for bailouts), while stressing the need to keep making productivity-improving public and private investments. However, it could be equally entitled: How The Industrial Age Political-Economy Doesn't Work Anymore, viz. Surviving Progress (2011)... [more inside]
Economists and the theory of politics - "why unions were often well worth any deadweight cost" [more inside]
Today is a new day in Canadian specie, being the last day that the Royal Canadian Mint will distribute the penny. Cash transactions will now be rounded to the nearest $0.05. CBC posts an obituary. [more inside]
"Defacement of currency is a violation of Title 18, Section 333 of the United States Code. Under this provision, currency defacement is generally defined as follows: Whoever mutilates, cuts, disfigures, perforates, unites or cements together, or does any other thing to any bank bill, draft, note, or other evidence of debt issued by any national banking association, Federal Reserve Bank, or Federal Reserve System, with intent to render such item(s) unfit to be reissued, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than six months, or both. Defacement of currency in such a way that it is made unfit for circulation comes under the jurisdiction of the United States Secret Service." - source"Defaced Money" tagged Tumblr posts, 11 more impressive examples of creatively defaced currency, 101 Unusual, Impressive And Illegal Pieces Of Defaced Currency, and some cool guitar picks.
Banknote.ws attempts to collect and classify images of all the world's paper currency, both historical and modern, whether it's sublimely beautiful or utterly worthless. If you prefer your banknotes with snarky commentary, hasten to James Lileks' Engraveyard.
In anticipation of "The Hobbit" movie, New Zealand has issued "Lord of the Rings" themed coins that are legal tender.
Cigarettes: The Most Stable International Currency. In China, expensive cigarettes (not to be confused with counterfeits of popular brands) are sometimes used as bribes. Cash can be difficult to handle, or outright illegal, in some places. Since a smoking ban (and subsequent black-market trade in cigarettes) in US prisons, canned mackerel (previously on MetaFilter) has become the exchange medium of choice. [more inside]
Start Your Own Currency - "In the Catalonia region of Spain, a restaurant and a community garden are part of an experiment in alternative cash--they are accepting a home-grown currency called the Eco as well as the Euro." [viz. gated article (Google link), cf. The Wörgl Experiment]
Canadian Tire Company coupons, thought of by some as an alternative Canadian currency, may be on the way out. [more inside]
A new initiative recently proposed by the Royal Canadian Mint proposes to create the MintChip, a digital currency that’s similar (to BitCoin), but is backed by the Canadian government. Aiming to become “the digital equivalent of the coins we use every day,” in the Canadian Mint’s own words, the MintChip will target micro- and nano-transactions conducted both online and offline, whether at the physical point of sale, on mobile devices, or among peers. Via
"They were new money, without a doubt: so new it shrieked. Their clothes looked as if they’d covered themselves in glue, then rolled around in hundred-dollar bills.” ~ Margaret Atwood
Note Worthy: [guardian.co.uk] Global economic meltdown, the euro crisis and Occupy protests – this year has been dominated by financial issues. But what is money anyway? We invited writers and artists including Jonathan Franzen, Margaret Atwood and Naomi Klein to invent new currencies and banknotes for a changed world.
The United States Secret Service is warning about an old scam that's recently popped up again in New England: black money. [more inside]
Blind Man vs. Paper Money - the Blind Film Critic demonstrates the problems of using (American) paper money. Unsurprisingly, just getting cash out of an ATM poses its own problem. [more inside]
Pop-Cultured Currency - Technically, defacing US currency is a crime – but artist James Charles doesn’t seem to be in any legal trouble for his awesome series of Pop Culture Cash. His portraits, created on real money using ink, turn dead presidents into colorfully amusing pop culture icons. Alternate site with larger pics.
It's all about the Bordens. The Bank of Canada unveils its new series of polymer bank notes. Because no one wants soggy bills when you're makin' it rain.
Make your Franklin is a site which accepts submissions of recreated 100 USD banknotes.
Bitcoin is a peer-to-peer digital currency. Trading at eight dollars this week—and being used to pay for everything from freelance programming jobs to magic mushrooms—it has been described as “the most dangerous open-source project ever created” and “an unambiguous challenge to the government monopoly on the power to print money.” Estimated at over 20 petaFLOPS the Bitcoin network is currently the fastest virtual supercomputer in the world. [more inside]
Out of thin air? "Have you ever said something like 'Let me buy you a beer next week'? I'm sure you have. We all issue promises of this sort. And we frequently use such promises as a form of currency... I have just described a simple credit exchange. Societies rely heavily on promising-making and promise-keeping. It is the foundation of all financial markets. I'd like to point out something about the promises you make. They are made 'out of thin air.' " [more inside]
In February 2006, a group of criminals pulled off the biggest cash heist in the history of the UK, making off with £53 million pounds. To date, only £23 million of the money has been recovered. Police are understandably upset about the dead ends in the case.
Meet the new form of prison currency: Honey buns.
Beautiful banknote vignettes which were used in the 19th century by the United States to combat counterfeiters. Brought to you by MeFi's peacay.
For almost 20 years, Art Williams, Jr. was one of the country's eminent currency counterfeiters. His greatest achievement: counterfeiting the new (at the time) $100 bill (PDF link). [more inside]
"If the Swiss can do it on a regular basis, why can't we North Americans too." The Dollar ReDe$ign Project believes its time for the United States to switch from the old to something new in the field of American currency. As a result, a contest was developed and submissions accepted. They range from the cultural to the cynical, and a salute to American space achievements to update designs to the present content.
The Goat Who Took on the Fed: WSJ's Andy Jordan spends time in the Berkshires to see how locals make the case for "slow money" with their own local currency, "The Berkshare". (previously 1 2 3 4) [more inside]
Stemming from a lawsuit that has gone on for several years, a recent Court of Appeals ruled that the U.S. government must make bills with distinguishable tactile features to benefit the blind. While the U.S. government disagrees, the judges say: "The government might as well argue that, since handicapped people can crawl on all fours or ask for help from strangers, there's no need to make buildings wheelchair accessible." Not all blind people agree with the decision. [more inside]
Inflation in Zimbabwe recently reached 160,000%. Get in on the ground floor now by purchasing a $50,000,000 bill (currently selling for 20,000x its value). Dare to become a millionaire!
On Tuesday, the Federal Reserve cut interest rates by 0.5%. Wall Street aggressively demanded the cut to stop the sub-prime mortgage contagion from triggering a credit crisis among large US and foreign investment banks and the collapse of their over-leveraged hedge funds, which ultimately threatened to drag the US economy into recession. The market rallied this week in response to the Fed's move. But there is no free lunch. [more inside]
Australian art student Nicholas Manion has hit upon a clever idea: delicately cut paper currency forming the skyline of major cities. Via.
Online coin generator. Sure, it's in German, but you can figure it out.
Banknote art by Justine Smith. Alternating currency: by Marshall Weber, portraits in money by Mark Wagner, a Ganesh out of Rupee notes by CK Wilde (a spectacular previously). Beautiful banknotes at the World Paper Money Image Gallery. Unusual coins. Unique banknotes, like the 100 Million Dinara note from Croatia. U.S. currency and the pictures behind the portraits. Mildenberg's Dream Collection of Greek Coins at the Money Museum.
"I'm all outta dollars, you got any Berkshares?" Several Great Barrington, Massachusetts businesses have developed a local currency to promote local business.
Proof that artistic inspiration can come from any walk of life, Anthony White has turned his former life as a stockbroker into inspiration for a series of Stock Code paintings. Also available - paintings depicting different values of British, American, Australian, and Euro currency.[via ArtNews Blog]
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