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Perforated Currency

Money that can be physically subdivided and reconstituted
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Bills (notes, whatever you call them) will be printed with perforations corresponding to lower denominations. The new eighteen dollar bill, for exmple, will have a score down the center. When the halves are separated the result is two nine dollar units which will, in turn, consist of nine one-dollar units (each about Ÿ inch squared) that can be dispensed in the desired configuration.

$29.78 for your groceries? Simply unfold your hundred dollar bill, tear off $30 and return the remainder to your wallet.

Machines in banks, post offices, etc. will reconstitute your inconveniently large volume of small single units back into larger denominations by generating new large bills based on scanner-read serial number information that is micro-etched into each constituent sub-unit.

To prevent fraying, this currency will be printed on a sturdier medium than we presently use - perhaps some sort of petroleum-derived synthetic fiber.

The advantage? Convenience, of course.

snarfyguy, May 30 2001

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       Ridiculous. This is forward thinking! Imagine the increased efficiency! The elegant ease of use! The postmodernism!
snarfyguy, May 30 2001
  

       Baked in history. Ever wonder where the term "pieces of eight" comes from?
jutta, May 30 2001
  

       snarfyguy....please use Soterios as a spellcheck reference..... "convenice"??????? not even close.... oh, and write checks or get a debit card.
Susen, May 31 2001
  

       This would be a great help at those vending machines that only accept $1 bills. I'd no longer have to worry about trying to get change for a five -- just tear off 1/5 of the bill.
nobody, May 31 2001
  

       Having perforated currency might also lead to a reversal in the meaning of the phrase "rip-off".
-alx, May 31 2001
  

       At my old uni (Exeter), they're running a trial of Mondex smartcards. There's loads of points where you can load up cash etc, and the whole system worked really well. I miss not having to mess about with loose change all the time.
-alx, May 31 2001
  

       When I was a lad, several decades ago, I went to a US Mint-sponsored "currency show" at the Sherwood Inn in North Seattle. There, they showed off all manner of coins and bills, and even a demonstration of how bills are printed (they used stamp paper rather than the real stuff). One of the things that caught my eye was a US bill that was five (or maybe ten) $10,000 bills with perfs in them so that they could be separated.
lummox, May 31 2001
  

       It's distressing to see my post left unchallenged. Nobody writing about how I should find a link to back up my claims of perforated currency. I did look but never found anything.
lummox, Jan 22 2002
  

       I've been longing for perforated cash for years in order to solve the group lunch dilemma where everyone at the table whips out a $20.
biffboffo, Feb 07 2002
  
      
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