The Designs Norway Rejected For Its New Banknotes Are Amazing

Yesterday we learned that Norway had chosen a new design for its banknotes—a pixelated little number by the architects at Snøhetta. While their design is tasteful and restrained, it can't possibly live up to the charm of sea life drawn by kids. Which was exactly what one designer proposed. » 10/09/14 10:27am 10/09/14 10:27am

The Messy Story Behind YouTubers Taking Money For Game Coverage

Before Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor's release, a curious thing happened: critics on YouTube (and some in the traditional press) tried to obtain early PC copies for review, but couldn't. And yet, YouTube entertainers were able to—if they agreed to terms like, "videos will promote positive sentiment about the game." » 10/08/14 9:03pm 10/08/14 9:03pm

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

Where the Dollar Sign Comes From

This symbol first showed up in the 1770s, appearing in documents of English-Americans who had business dealings with Spanish-Americans. However, it wasn't until the very early 1800s that it became popularized, around the same time as the first official U.S. dollars were being minted. Previous to this, the symbol had… » 6/24/14 7:00am 6/24/14 7:00am

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