The European Union has released a new €50 note with advanced security features as a measure to fight counterfeiting. Unlike its multiple fiat counterparts, counterfeiting is not a problem with Bitcoin.
Europe's New €50 Note
The €50 note is the most widely used in circulation, accounting for 45% of all euros in circulation. As such, it is a prime target for counterfeiters. The European Central Bank has therefore implemented multiple new security features in the notes, which counterfeiters will find hard to replicate. These include a hologram of Europa (a figure from Greek mythology), a new watermark and a new emerald green reflective paint. These new notes are expected to come into circulation in April 2017.
Counterfeiting – Worldwide Problem
Counterfeiting is a worldwide problem and various governments are grappling with it. It is estimated that ~0.01% of dollars circulating worldwide could be counterfeit. It is not just criminal gangs who indulge in counterfeiting. Rogue nations have also used counterfeiting as a means to wage proxy wars. The USA has alleged that North Korea and Iran have been issuing high-quality counterfeit dollar notes to undermine the importance of the dollar. While nations routinely upgrade the technology used in printing notes, it is difficult to tackle the problem when other countries misuse technology available to them to issue counterfeit notes. Electronic currency does not fully solve the problem, as high-quality counterfeit currency notes may not be detected if deposited in small town bank branches.
Bitcoin – The Currency of the Future
The equivalent of counterfeiting in Bitcoin is double spending – i.e. spending the same coins twice by a user. The risk of double spending declines with increasing number of confirmations. If you accept transactions which have six or more confirmations, the risk of bitcoins received by you being double-spent declines to virtually zero. Bitcoin is truly a currency of the future.