The counterfeit chain

in LeoFinance2 years ago

I am working from home today and have spent some of the time looking at my stack of 50€ notes that are sitting by my side on the table. Sure, it is only a stack of two notes, but it is more than I have had rubbing together for quite some time. They were a gift for my birthday from my parent-in-laws, who would normally give an actual gift of some sort, but know that any extra we have goes to house renovation, so this is far more practical.


The money itself is actually pretty impressive, as it contains dozens or more security features, although I don't think they go as far as the Australian polymer notes. But just under visual inspection, there is a massive amount of detail, embosses, holograms and print quality that goes into producing the note itself to reduce the risk of counterfeiting. Although I do wonder, is it a problem.

The number of counterfeit notes withdrawn from circulation

The denomination of counterfeit notes withdrawn

The number of counterfeits withdrawn are falling, likely due to the decrease in the US of cash in general, but there is still a "fair" amount of value being attempted to be scammed.

For example, 2019 H2, 36% of the notes taken out of circulation were 50s, like the ones sitting on my desk which I assume are real. With 308,000 notes confiscated, that means that about 110,000 were 50s or approximately 5.5 million euros worth.

Despite the total number of counterfeits increasing by almost 23 percent between the first and second half of 2019, the chances of coming across a counterfeit note in Europe is exceedingly rare. In total, there are approximately 24 billion euro notes in circulation, totaling nearly 1.3 trillion euros. source

Yes, 5.5 million euros worth of fake 50s is a fair amount for the average person, but in the grand scheme of the 1.3 trillion dollars worth of circulating currency, it is not very much at all. I have no idea how much is spent combating counterfeit money, but I guess that while it is in circulation, it has to be done, as must all the measures to secure the money itself, otherwise the problem will ramp up.

However, what is interesting, is that Europeans are estimated to spend north of 15 billion dollars annually on counterfeit medicines, although it is largely unknown what the real number is. I am guessing if they are going to be looking to get the most "bang for their buck" so to speak, efforts on counterfeit goods is likely where they should be spending most of their time, if they want to curb the effects on people.

More than 120,000 people a year die in Africa as a result of fake anti-malarial drugs alone, says the World Health Organization, either because the drugs were substandard or simply contained no active ingredients at all.

I wonder what is being done about this in Africa? I suspect, not that much.


Back to the money.

Of course, when it comes to digital money, security is also a concern, but I wonder how many people are sitting with "fake Bitcoin" in their wallet at the moment and what percentage of counterfeit Hive is circulating on the platform, giving votes to people without them realizing that the value they have received is a lie.

Oh - yeah, I don't really have to concern myself about this at all.

All of the scam in digital blockchain assets is in the ecosystem of humans, not on the blockchains itself, meaning that while someone can for example sell someone Bitcoin for fiat or another token and not deliver, they can't deliver something fake onto the Bitcoin network. This makes the idea of counterfeit moot, which is why the Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) are going to be so huge in the industries, as people will be able to increasingly find ways to ensure that what they have is genuine.

As normal, people are the weakest link in all security considerations, as we tend to make a lot of mistakes in the way we deal with our security issues. It could be that we use weak or repeated passwords on sites that do not have strong security measures in place, which is another human error. Or, we are too trusting and give out our details to other humans looking to take advantage of us, yet I think that the trust is often "greed" where we ignore the risks as we eye the dollar signs in the future - something we see in the people who get sucked into Discord scams and send tokens to random people to unlock a prize or get some kind of return that is obviously too good to be true.

There are many ways we can be scammed, as we just don't have the bandwidth to keep everything in focus all of the time, especially as we are continually doing many things simultaneously. I don't know about you, but I do not check every banknote I receive to ensure it passes the eye level tests, which means that most likely, they aren't taken out of circulation by "end users" at all. Rather, it is when they are passed through the automated machines at banks that they are detected, as to the untrained naked eye, very few of the fakes would be identified.

I find money increasingly interesting and boring at the same time. It is interesting because of the way it affects us socially and what we are able to do with it, but it is boring because in and of itself, it is valueless and totally useless. What gives it value is the ability to exchange it for goods and services that we need and want, and to incentivize activity. Increase teacher salaries to the same as that of a hedge fund manager, and see how good the next generation of classroom teachers could be, as the competition to get trained and be highly rated would be intense.

Of course, just like dealing with malaria in Africa, nothing like this will ever be done as while people say "children are our future", very few will put their money where their mouth is. It is the same for improving environmental conditions or general well-being of people - until there is money in "doing good", very little will be done.

But it is up to all of us, and doing good has to be firstly demanded and then the responsibility of it has to be decentralized. For example, no government can ensure everyone recycles, yet in Finland, near 100% of the drink cans and bottles are returned to recycling centers, because there is incentive to do so, as there is a rebate. In fact, the rebate is paid at purchase, which means not returning the cans means paying a premium, with that premium being harvested by people who collect cans and return them themselves, for example at large events and from going through bins. Yet, as far as I know, there are no "counterfeit bottles" in the system, as the cost to do so is far too great for the return to do so.

Incentive drives everything we intentionally and much of what we unconsciously do and it doesn't matter if the activity leads to positive or negative outcomes for us or others immediately or well in the future. What this means is that it is up to us if we want to incentivize good activity and our failure when we do not. This is becoming especially true as we start to take the generation and distribution of the value that can buy good and services into our own hands, as there ends up being no government to blame, no central point to target.

Centralization is a massive weakness in systems that are prone to various types of attacks, but it is good to remember that decentralization means that when things go wrong, when things don't get done and when failure happens - we have to look in the mirror. The coming economy means, we can no longer fake a functioning society, we have to become one. This is going to take more than having secure currencies, it is going to require humans to act well. The benefit is, we are the ones who choose which actions get rewarded.

[ Gen1: Hive ]

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I have been finding myself using less and less cash over the years. I know it is probably dangerous because some places only take cash. Especially in the small town areas where I live. In the future, I think that will be less of an issue. Hopefully digital currency will be the norm and everyone will take it!

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In many places, cash is the go to for two main reasons - the gateways for cards can be expensive. Cash doesn't always end up taxed. In some places where there has been a history of needing to hide wealth (like Germany), cash still has a lot of support, but it is changing.

Personally, I don't like cards - but that is more about who issues and owns the cards , than the cards themselves. Also, cards tend to lead to more spending as there is no "feel" for what is being spent.

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I can appreciate those sentiments. It's more of a convenience thing for me. Plus whenever I have cash in my wallet my wife always finds something she needs it for.

Love the security of crypto! But like anything that's early there are more risks out there but these should be gradually reduced over time.

Your post reminded me of the time I received a fake 5$ bill from a convenient store. I didn't notice until later that day and found it rather amusing. I kind of always assumed the clerk know he was dumping a fake bill on me.

That said all of our money is now polymer here in Canada, much harder to fake but still possible.

Best of luck with your renovations!

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When I was a kid, an American "tourist" tried to swap me a $100 US for a 20 AUD, as he "really needed the money" and there was no place to change it in the small town.

Umm... no thanks.

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Haha yeah I think that falls into the "too good to be true" category ..

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I can see the hype for nft. I can see also some pretty shaddy art selling for crazy money. Doodles. In art and crypto anything is possible

Art is what it is - the price of art depends on what someone is willing to pay. Quality rarely comes into the equation :)

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Yes, it makes me squirm, but what can you do. Art is art

If like to see someone print a fake bitcoin and then process on its actual network, well that's impossible. This are little but huge details the government tend to ignore, they rant about security but yet suck at implementing on their stance. Decentralization of everything is greatly more than people look at it.

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Many don't understand how fragile the current set up is, nor how manipulated. They are learning though.

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That arch near the € in the last looks like a band aid, thought it was from small steps lol.

It’s going to be interesting to see how people try to counterfeit each other with crypto. Will there be tokens coming online that are called Hlve and people fall for it and buy some? Or try to? Price won’t be close and all that but there will be ways folks try. You obviously can’t send any to any actual hive wallet but it will be attempted for sure.

As inefficient as some of the things are, it’s keeping people employed which isn’t that bad. I know we aren’t meant to constantly work but investigators and all that sometimes do great work.

Lol, yeah it does look like a bandaid :D

There will be (and is) a multitude of scams, but I think many will target the keys, rather than trying to counterfeit.

I know we aren’t meant to constantly work but investigators and all that sometimes do great work.

It is a skill for sure, but I think that the work could be targeted on more valuable things.

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Yeah, true. It will be more targeted to phish and get your keys.

I'm trying to get my wife to learn more about crypto, she's a finance person and does a really good job but is more focused on other things. If she puts her mind to work in the way that she does with her normal work, with crypto, she could make a killing!

If she puts her mind to work in the way that she does with her normal work, with crypto, she could make a killing!

Bloody annoying, isn't it? :D

Though the flipside of this is that some traditional finance people think that it all translates. One guy I knew back in the day bought Steem at 6 dollars and a few days later when it was at 8, he was pretty happy, until a few days after that it was at 4 :D

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In a few days, I will be able to share a notes project I am working on :)

Sounds like fun. Is it about ways to counterfeit Hive? ;D

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No, it is a game/collection cards project where card notes will also be introduced. I will start sharing it in a few days. It will be released in the WAX blockchain where you can create a free account and also get the initial drops for free.

I just sold all of my WAXP :D

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I don't know why I found the idea of "counterfeit bottles" as amusing as I did XD

Small things x_x lol XD

I was thinking it through as to whether it could actually be a thing :D

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Theoretically it probably could but why XD

Thanks Great story and liked the twist at the end great content

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You are welcome

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