Here Comes the Plastic Money
- Friday, March 23, 2012
- By Neil Savage
Polymer competes with paper as a basis for the world's banknotes. Canada is the latest country to embrace plastic currency.
The Canadian dollar is worth as much as the U.S. greenback. But Canadians are abuzz about something else entirely: plastic money.
Last November, Canada introduced a plastic $100 bill, becoming one of about three dozen countries that have replaced at least some paper banknotes with bills printed on polymer. Beginning Monday, the Bank of Canada will begin circulating $50 bills made of the same material, and smaller denominations will follow next year.
The switch to polymer is the result of an effort to reduce one of the highest rates of counterfeiting among the world's 20 largest economies. In 2004, Canada was finding 470 forged banknotes for every million in circulation. The Bank of Canada says the new notes are easy to verify and hard to counterfeit.
To read the entire article you must log in:
Most of our content — all daily news, blogs, and videos — is free. Magazine stories are paid. To read this story, you must have a subscription or you must use a reading credit. Registration to Technology Review is free and entitles registrants to three free reading credits.