June 25, 2004

Forging the Euro

Anecdotally, it seems that now Europe has a world class currency, it's attracted world class forgers [1]. Perhaps catching the Issuer by surprise, the ECB and its satellites is facing significant efforts at injecting false currency. Oddly enough, the Euro note is very nice, and hard to forge. Which makes the claim that only the special note departments in the central banks can tell the forgeries quite a surprise.

Still, it is tiny amounts. I've heard estimates of 30% of the dollar issue washing around the poorer regions is forged, so it doesn't seem as though the gnomes in Frankfurt have much to complain about as yet.

And, it has to be taken as an accolade of sorts. If a currency is good, it is worth forging. Something we discovered in the digital cash world was that attacks against the system don't start until the issuer has moved about a million worth in float, and has a thousand or so users. Until then, the crooks haven't got the mass to be able to hide in, it's the case with some of these smaller systems that "everyone knows everyone" and that's a bit limiting if you are trying to fence some value through the market makers.

[1] http://www.dw-world.de/english/0,3367,1431_A_1244689_1_A,00.html

Posted by iang at June 25, 2004 07:33 AM | TrackBack