Norway's New Currency Design Is Perfectly Pixelated High-Concept Art

With last week's news that Oslo had pulled out of the 2022 Winter Olympics, I got really sad—mostly that we wouldn't see the beautiful identity from the architects at Snøhetta brought to life. But here's a consolation: Snøhetta won a competition to redesign Norway's currency. And the pixelated landscapes they designed… » 10/08/14 1:47pm 10/08/14 1:47pm

The U.S. killed the half-penny when it was worth what a dime is today

It seems like every week there's a new argument to remove the penny from circulation. But did you know that the U.S. once had a half-cent? When the U.S. stopped making them in 1857, they had the buying power of over a dime by today's standards. Which makes the most excellent case to scrap the penny, right now. And… » 9/25/14 5:40pm 9/25/14 5:40pm

A Counterfeit Ring Behind $77 Million in Fake Bills Finally Got Busted

For years, the Secret Service has been tracking down the legendary "Russian-Israeli Note," one of the most sophisticated and common fake Benjamins ever made. This high-tech international ring was finally busted and indicted this week, thanks to years of good old-fashioned surveillance and legwork. » 8/12/14 4:55pm 8/12/14 4:55pm

Swag, Vapes, and Econ: My Day at the North American Bitcoin Conference

Bitcoin may have emerged from a shadowy corner of the internet, but soon, it'll have its own government affairs office in Washington. According to the crypto-currency's biggest advocates, who assembled at the second North American Bitcoin Conference this weekend in Chicago, Bitcoin is all grown up. In reality, it's… » 7/21/14 2:08pm 7/21/14 2:08pm

What gives paper money its actual value?

Money is just tinted paper printed with different numbers on it. So what gives the ol' greenbacks its value? The bills used to be tied to the gold standard but now, it's up to The Fed to control how many bills there are. So why can't they just decide to print out ridiculous amounts of bill to make everyone rich? » 6/24/14 1:42am 6/24/14 1:42am

4 Totally Fake Currencies That Changed the Course of Real Wars

At the tail end of his time as Commander of U.S. Forces Afghanistan, General David Petraeus commented that "money is my most important ammunition in this war." It was far from an original thought. In fact, you could argue that currency is the most important and least acknowledged wartime weapon. » 5/05/14 9:22am 5/05/14 9:22am

Thoughts for Your Penny: The One-Cent Piece Is Worth a Century of Type

Every few years, there are calls to retire the American penny (as cumbersome and too expensive to produce), and rebuttals to preserve it (for posterity and price stability). I don't know how or when this question will be answered. Personally, I would not miss the gobs of metal in my pockets, but I would miss the… » 4/23/14 1:20pm 4/23/14 1:20pm

The Intricate Makeshift Money Germans Relied On Between World Wars

State-issued currency is the scaffolding upon which capitalism was built, but it's always been prone to mayhem. For instance in 1920s Germany, extreme inflation forced German businesses to actually print millions of their own customized paper bills. Now largely forgotten, this notgeld, or "emergency money," was once… » 9/24/13 10:40am 9/24/13 10:40am

These Stash Coins Are a Fantastic Way to Lose Your SD Card

The Man has his hand in your inbox, cops are intimidating citizens who film them beating other citizens, it's only logical to want to keep the private contents of your SD card, well, private. The Covert Coin from CCS Spy Gear is a precision-machined piece of retired US currency that are nearly indistinguishable from… » 6/17/13 5:40pm 6/17/13 5:40pm