By Andrew Liszewski
Websites like Where’s George? let’s you track the travels of a piece of currency using their unique serial numbers, but it only really works if everyone who gets their hands on it visits the site. The same idea exists behind the Bijlmer Euro created by artist Christian Nold, but it’s a little more automagic since the bills each feature an RFID tag. Now obviously in order to track the whereabouts of a given bill, every single place of business would need RFID scanners installed, so the notes are designed to be used more as a “complimentary local currency” for the south-east area of Amsterdam, where about 2,000 of them were made available.
A handful of local shops have been equipped with the requisite RFID scanners which then report to a website which allows users and shopkeeps to visualize the flow of the bills. And in order to ensure that people are more likely to spend the Bijlmer Euros in the area where they can be tracked, the participating shops and restaurants offer unique discounts and promotions when you pay with the special currency. I like the idea, but have to wonder if the issue of defacing currency comes into play here.