Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2003/05/23/ec_moots_trackable_cyber_euro/

EC moots trackable cyber euro

Lost your wallet? Help may be at hand...

By Lester Haines

Posted in Business, 23rd May 2003 13:31 GMT

The European Central Bank (ECB) is considering embedding tiny radio tags into euro notes in a bid to combat counterfeiters and money launderers, a report today notes.

The ECB is in talks with Hitachi, whose 0.3mm "mu-chip" responds to radio signals by sending out a 128-bit number. This information could include a serial number and date and place of origin. It could also be used to track the note as it wends its happy way around the EU.

The plan's authors hope that such tagging will fight the trade in dirty money with the spin-off benefit of pointing the finger at kidnappers and armed blaggers.

It's an interesting idea. With Britain's entry into the happy family of Euronations now seemingly a done deal, there is certainly room for speculation as to how the scheme might be advanced and improved for the greater benefit of humanity.

Indeed, dipping the query ladle into the seething ideas cauldron that is the Vulture Central Think Tank dredged up the following:

All good stuff, we're sure you'll agree. Sadly, we fear that what the ECB's new technology will actually demonstrate is not Spanish-based Venezuelans counting vast bin-liners full of drugs money, but rather huge concentrations of euro under subsidised farmers' mattresses and in bank shareholders' wallets. Still, you can always dream... ®