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Gives new meaning to "Wire me some money?"


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Invisible transistors protect bills from counterfeiting

Lydia Leavitt | Fri 24th Dec 2010, 11:05 am

Counterfeiting paper money - which used to only require a color printer and some special paper - has become harder and harder to execute. ??

In the past, anti-counterfeiting measures have included holograms, never-drying ink, textured printing, un-copyable colors, watermarks, woven-in fibers, all of which have been steadily duplicated by counterfeiters.

However, a next-gen security feature could help potentially shut counterfeiters down for an extended period of time.


The new technology is designed to cover paper money in thin-film transistors made out of gold, aluminum oxide, and organic molecules through a patterned mask.

Once printed, each note has around 100 invisible and organic transistors on each side, capable of turning on and off with 3 volts of power. ??

That means if the money is passed over a special sensor within a bus station of bank, it can be determined whether the note is real or fake based on the amount of voltage it generates.

Although this may seem like a lot of work to determine fakes, the counterfeiting business is still a major hurdle for law enforcement, with $1 of fake money found within every $12,500.

And with trillions of dollars in circulation, you can imagine the amount of actual fakes floating around.

(Via Fast Company)



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I wonder what's preventing people from forging older bills instead of newer ones?

The only thing I can think of Chris is the cheapest way to get paper for counterfeiting is chemically cleaning $1 bills. The average life of a one dollar bill is eighteen months so there maybe aren't enough "old" bills to make it worthwhile?? I think their big push is to get the narco-counterfeit $100 bills and the state-sponsored (North Korea, Iran, old-Iraq, etc) $100 bills out of the Federal banking system as they are the only ones with the access to "real" paper and the million dollar multi-color presses and high-quality engravers. You'll notice the example shown is a $100 bill. :D


PS: I think if someone starts showing up with millions of dollars from the 1950s and 1960s printing dates they would really draw attention to themselves - as in unsolved bank-robberies, etc, and other crimes around that period where the loot was never recovered.

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I don't see what's new there to stop duplication. Just need to know what the reader wants to see and it can be duplicated.

Might slow them down temporarily as they too learn the new technology but once they do it might even make it easier to pass off because now the reader will say it's real when it's not until the Gov catches on too.

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