Anti money counterfeit with IOTA

The counterfeiting of goods and qualitative data in the supply chain is the subject of my previous article (

The use of hw cryptography and IOTA Tangle are perfect to protect and certify quality and value products.

However, I think that there is another widespread object that can benefit from IOTA technology: banknotes.

It seems a bit absurd to use a crypto currency to protect paper currency, but it is simpler than you might think.

It is well known that the banknotes are produced using special techniques that make the production of “good fake notes”, very expensive.

The cost of producing false copies combined with the difficulty of selling large volumes, discourages counterfeiters.

However, not all countries are able to produce very sophisticated banknotes and the most common ones (US Dollars and Euro) are accepted in every country of the world, even if often those who receive them do not have the skills to detect a counterfeit banknote.

This is therefore a simple, cheap and highly technological solution to make life much more complicated for counterfeiters.

Basic requirements

Each banknote has a unique identification number.
The first step to protect the banknotes is to record on the Tangle the date and place (geographical coordinates) of the entry into circulation. This registration will be done by a bank receiving a batch of new banknotes from the central bank.

The second element necessary for the operation of the system is a small scanner.

These devices are already widespread in shops and bank counters. With special lighting techniques, they highlight the presence of details that are difficult to counterfeit.

What is needed is to upgrade these devices to be able to read the banknote serial number.

The verification process

When a banknote is inserted in the scanner its serial number is detected and immediately published in the tangle.

The scanner does this using a network server that identifies the scanner (using the techniques already described in my previous article) and then knows its geographical location.

The server performs a simple search of the banknote serial number.

The test may give insignificant indications:

  • The banknote has been “seen” at other times in the same geographical area.
  • The note has been analyzed in distant places but with a delay of time.
  • Etc.

But if the server reveals that a banknote with that same serial number has been used in a very short period of time in very remote places, it is certainly a suspicious banknote.

The test is very effective if all counterfeit banknotes have the same serial number but it is still effective even if the counterfeiter was so efficient as to create banknotes with sequential numbers.

Test is absolutely effective if the counterfeiter has used serial numbers of real banknotes that have never been officially produced.


In complete respect of the privacy and with a very simple and cheap device united to the storage capacity of the IOTA tangle bank note can become a more secure object.

It can certainly be argued that this solution can be achieved without the use of IOTA or a “block chain”. I challenge anyone to succeed with the same level of cost, approximately a few thousandths of a Euro per control, that IOTA allows you to get.

In addition the future availability of the Qubic system will make it possible to realize this security service without single point of failure and single point of security flaws.

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