Paper Money

Cryptocurrencies may take form of physical bank notes

The Bitcoin Banknote Project has produced a number of sample bank notes in cryptocurrency denominations, including items shown for Canada and Germany..

Images courtesy of the Bitcoin Banknote Project.

Cryptocurrencies may soon take on a physical format, with one of the proposals for a tangible version of the currency being proposed by none other than Larry Felix, a former director of the Bureau of Engraving and Printing.

Felix is the CEO of Noteworthy, a new venture he formed with Peter Vessenes, the founding chairman of the Bitcoin Foundation. The aim is to develop Bitcoin-based notes.

The news appeared on the company’s website, www.noteworthy.ag, on March 7. It says that the new venture “is the premier architect of physical banknotes that represent various denominations of Bitcoin and other digital currencies. While digital assets are becoming more mainstream, they still lack the level of trust, familiarity, and accessibility that a physical banknote provides.”

Felix will oversee the design, development, and launch of the notes. “I am thrilled to lead this transformative project,” he said. “A physical banknote provides a level of trust, familiarity, and accessibility that digital assets on their own have yet to achieve. I look forward to working with the Noteworthy team to create a beautifully designed, easy-to-use, counterfeit-resistant banknote of the highest quality.”

The company further explains that the proposed bank note would combine the utility and security of the paper money, digital asset, and blockchain industries. Notes will have a secure cryptographic microprocessor, while also using bank note features. They are supposed to look and feel like advanced currency designs, while also including high level digital security on each note. Users will be able to use a proprietary digital app to interact with the notes, to merge the gap between physical and digital.

The new venture has also named former U.S. Mint Director Edmund Moy as an adviser, and Manuela Pfrunder, the designer of the acclaimed ninth series of Swiss franc bank notes as chief design officer. It has also enlisted the services of Thomas Hipschen, a banknote image engraver who has engraved over 130 U.S. postage and revenue stamps, and the portraits of Benjamin Franklin, Ulysses S. Grant, Andrew S. Jackson, and Abraham Lincoln on the current $100, $50, $20, and $5 Federal Reserve notes.

Noteworthy has not yet released any design proposals. However, they are not the only entrants to the new field. Bitcoin Banknote Project, along with Independent Currencies, security documents design studio, released four limited print run designs in 2020.

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