/ Money

Bank notes that are built to last

New fiver

The introduction of new £5 plastic bank notes across the UK is just a few months away. They’re supposed to be difficult to damage and tricky to fake. How do you feel about the new notes?

Winston Churchill famously said: “To improve is to change. To be perfect is to change often” and there are a whole host of changes on the new £5 note that bears his face.

The Bank of England’s first £5 plastic banknote was unveiled last week and is supposedly cleaner, safer and stronger – but do we really need these improvements?

Plastic fantastic?

These bank notes will be able to survive a 90°C trip through the washing machine or the bite of a bulldog.

Each note is so much more resistant to dirt and moisture that it will typically last two and a half times longer than a paper note, saving the Bank of England £100m in printing costs over the decade. It also incorporates plenty of new security features, making it far more difficult to counterfeit.

These advantages will also be incorporated into the new £10 and £20 notes being introduced in the future, bringing an end to 320 years of paper money in the UK.

The cost of new money

However, there are suggestions that these new banknotes will cause more problems than they solve.

Business of all sizes will have to upgrade cash-handling hardware, such as vending machines and ATMs. It’s been estimated this will cost the British economy around £236m – almost two and a half times more than the printing savings over the first decade.

The Bank of England also concedes that the new notes can stick together, so shoppers need to be more wary of handing over two notes instead of one.

This sounds like a lot of faff for what is becoming an increasingly cashless society.

Prepare for plastic banknotes

The new £5 note enters circulation on September 13 this year. You can continue using the paper notes until May 2017, after which they will cease to become legal tender. At this point, you’ll need to exchange them at The Bank of England.

A plastic £10 note is expected next summer, with a new £20 note following in 2020.

What are your thoughts on plastic banknotes? Can you see yourself still using cash in 10 years’ time?

Are you a fan of the new £5 plastic banknotes?

Yes (49%, 392 Votes)

Not sure (30%, 240 Votes)

No (21%, 172 Votes)

Total Voters: 804

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Comments
Member

Shocked to hear we can only continue using the £5 paper notes until May 2017!!!

You mention the Bank of England, but I have just found out it will be the same up here in Scotland with our fivers.

The way you put it, Joe, it sound like a lot of faff, even if realistically I do see myself still using cash in 10 years’ time.

Plastic or paper, I’m honestly not sure which I prefer, but, due respect to Churchil, don’t we need fewer old white males represented, not more? Another matter altogether, I know, sorry.

Member

I resent the implication about _”old white males ” which is permanently taken up by our advertising media who are composed of the 2/3 % minority groups and are totally opposed to white males .

[Sorry Duncan, your comment has been edited to align with our Community Guidelines. Thanks, mods]

Member
Julia Clark says:
12 June 2016

I don’t think we should have politicians on banknotes.
Concerned about the sticking together issue.

Member

I quite agree Julia most should be strung up as they say in the US . The problem is Churchill is an “icon ” and is credited with “saving ” this country from defeat from Germany . Much as I dont like his politics I did like his drive while in power to get the country geared up for war, appointing Beaverbrook in the mold of Albert Speer ,although I know this started secretly years earlier . It certainly cost him a stroke but anybody coming out with – “we will fight them on the beaches ” etc has my temporary vote as even if I totally disagree with what my country is doing I couldnt betray it and if invaders landed I would defend it. Labour was voted in after the war and the NHS etc got going .

Member

The UK’s first plastic banknote was unveiled last week” . . . err, not so: the UK’s first plastic banknotes have been in use in Scotland for some time. These new fivers are the first Bank of England plastic banknotes and will be legal tender throughout the UK unlike those issued by the Scottish banks.

You can’t have too many security features in banknotes but I had not realised there was a lot of faff as well – that should make them impossible to reproduce illegally.

I hope I shall still be here in ten years’ time and spending cash. There is every prospect that the Queen will still be on the notes in ten years’ time but BoE notes might have been outlawed in Scotland by then. I shall never stop accepting cash in any currency.

I have always found high street banks most obliging in exchanging banknotes after they have lost their legal tender status, as well as coins that have been superseded. A trip to Threadneedle Street is not the only way to update your wallet.

Interestingly, UK postage stamps never lose their currency, although you will need a very big envelope if you want to use up any pre-decimal values. More recent ones ending in a half-penny are still useable if you put two together to make a whole number [e.g. 4 x thirteen-and-a-half + 2 x five-and-a-half for First Class postage].

Member

To add to the complication, although practically it doesn’t seem to matter day today, I found this in Martin Lewis’s website:

True or false? Scottish notes aren’t legal tender.
– Are Scottish bank notes legal tender? No, not even in Scotland, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be used. It simply means most people don’t understand what legal tender is (see below). Bank of England notes are only legal tender in England and Wales, meaning there are no legal tender notes in Scotland at all.
– What is legal tender? It simply means if you have a court order against you for money, the person you owe cannot turn down your settlement if you offer to pay by legal tender.
[…]
– Let me finish with a quick word to English shopkeepers – please accept Scottish and Northern Irish notes. While not legal tender, they are UK Parliament-approved legal currency, which makes them a perfectly acceptable way to pay.

Member

Thank you Sophie for that additional information. I had not realised that Scotland had no concept of legal tender and that even Bank of England notes can [technically] be rejected in settlement. I think the Scottish and Northern Irish banks need to do something really canny to get the English shopkeepers on their side and issue banknotes to the value of £4.99, £9.99, and £19.99. This would save shopkeepers money in carrying change and save the banks a lot of coin-handling.

Member

Re £4.99, £9.99 & £19.99 – just for interest…

I’d always assumed that goods were priced at £4.99 because it “sounds” cheaper than £5. But I’ve heard that an additional reason is because an item priced at £4.99 will be paid for with a £5 note. The shopkeeper then has to ring it into the till to get the penny change – instead of simply stuffing it into his/her back pocket.

So “shop assistants” might be pleased, but “shop owners” might not.

Member

Most customers do not regard the transaction as complete until they are given a till receipt in case they wish to return the goods or just keep as proof of purchase. I always ask for the till receipt in a chain shop even if buying just a newspaper.

Member

Brand new paper notes also stick together – it is not the prerogative of plastic. BoE undertook an extensive public consultation and found 87% in favour. They fold, wash, are more hygienic, more secure and more durable (regrettably only in the physical sense, they will still leave your wallet with increasing rapidity). So in advance of us really trying them out, what is not to like? Resistance to change?

The £10 note will carry a portrait of Jane Austen, Sophie, and every denomination for now carries the picture of an older white female. Not bad in the representational stakes.

Maybe if we leave the EU and consequences follow, notes in the more northerly parts will carry a younger white female’s portrait? Is that an aspiration I wonder? 🙂

Member

:0) cheers, malcolm r.

If we leave the EU? Why, what’s going on? :0)

Member

The real issue in my wallet is whether they will be moth-proof and how long they will survive in the dark.

Member

I suggest we phase out the expression ‘pay with plastic’ to avoid confusion.

Member

Yes, wavechange :0)

My practical worry with these new plastic notes is them sticking together, though I’ll have to have more than one at a time to rub together.

Member

Brilliant Sophie!

Member

[Sorry Duncan, in accordance with our Community Guidelines your comment has been removed for being off-topic. Thanks, mods]

Member

Plastic banknotes… Hmm… I seem to remember this was proposed a long time ago, so it seems the BofE is moving with its customary rapidity. Personally, I think rubber would be better. That way you wouldn’t only have bounced cheques.

But there are many types of plastic, so the fun will be in working out which type they’ll use. Some plastics deteriorate rapidly in UV, or sunlight (John’s would probably be safe, then 🙂 and plastic should prove less appealing to the dog, but they might become droopy in the heat (common problem…) or brittle in the cold, so no use in the Arctic branch of Starbucks or any summer holiday in North Wales. And will they be recyclable? After all, think of all the poor drug barons, who (presumably) only accept cash and stash it under the mattress.

But a lot of folk continue to deal in cash. In remote holiday areas (there are more of them than you might imagine in the UK) where card payments simply don’t work because of no broadband availability, small businesses like cliff-top cafes, window cleaners, car washes, heavies (well, you never know when you might need a couple), pawn shops, drug dealers – all these can only accept cash and what happens when you need to bribe a member of the local planning committee to stop that seventeen story extension being built on the bowling green, eh? No one pays bribes in cash – do they?

Interesting £imes ahead.

Member

The fun’s over Ian. Banknotes will be made of bi-axially oriented polypropylene.

Paper banknotes that are past it can be shredded, composted and used in your garden, thus helping towards food bills.

Plastic bank notes that are worn out can be incinerated, thus directly paying for your home-heating (cheaper than the big 6?)

Member

Thanks, Malcolm, not least for a highly informative diversion to find out what one earth bi-axially oriented polypropylene is. I discovered it can’t be glued very easily and needs to be welded, instead (sure there’s a joke in there, somewhere ).

Member

I suppose “bi-axially oriented” is what I would have called cross-ply. With a completely different derivation, the building material Sterling Board is properly known as Oriented Strand Board and is made up of wood shavings randomly arranged in overlapping layers, compressed, and resin bonded. Having had to iron numerous banknotes after a turn in the washing machine I was at first a bit worried about the effect of a hot iron on a polymer material, but I gather the new banknotes’ properties include the fact that they can easily survive the laundry process and be just as serviceable as before. Whether they will survive tumble-drying is another matter.

Member

I think polypropylene melts at 130C. So unless you have an Indesit drier you should be OK John. No doubt there will be jokes about “laundered” and “hot” money.

The analogy with OSB is quite appropriate I think. Quote: “Biaxially oriented” means that the film is stretched in two different directions. Orientation brings about several changes in the film, such as lower elongation (harder to stretch), higher tensile strength for a given thickness, greater stiffness, improved optical properties, and improved barrier to water/gases.

This stretching occurs after the film emerges from the extrusion machine.

Member

Are extrusion machines going to replace all the ATM’s, Malcolm? If so they could print the banknotes in any denomination required by the customer. Let’s cut out the next technological step and go straight for bespoke banknotes on demand.

Member

I’m all for a suitable home printer John – then, like the BoE, I can indulge in some quantitative easing of my own.

Presumably as the material is already stretched as far as it can be we wont be able to make our money go any further?

Member

BOPP (bi-axia…….etc) is widely used as a packaging material, replacing cellophane for example.
So when Edward Lear wrote
“The Owl and the Pussy-cat went to sea
In a beautiful pea-green boat,
They took some honey, and plenty of money,
Wrapped up in a five-pound note. “…………

he had great foresight. 🙂

Member

I think a five-pound note in those days had several times the surface area of the present miserable coupon, and the new one will be even smaller.

Member

I was reminded about the size of the old penny when I was given one in exchange for my entrance fee at a recent visit to Sandtoft Trolley Bus Museum. For our younger readers, 240 pennies was equivalent to a paper pound note. Had the size of our notes and coins gone down as fast as their value they might now have been the size of confetti.

Member
embro says:
11 June 2016

Anyone who thinks this is something new; plastic bank notes have been in use in Australia and NZ for at least 10 years, they also had chip & pin in the late 1980’s. We think we in UK are tech. advanced ?

Member
David says:
11 June 2016

The BoE are way behind the times, as usual, NIreland had plastic banknotes over a decade ago.

But, more to the point, a fiver is now worth so little, it’s long overdue to be replaced by a coin – who would want a pound note now? The £5 note has reached that stage, surely, and I’m fed up with fiddling around with them in my change

Member

The Bank of England is prudent. It saw no need to replace the paper notes before it became necessary.

In answer to your second paragraph, David, I am prepared to offer a secure collection service to anyone who wishes to part with any one-pound notes, and indeed any five-pound notes that are becoming a burden. This offer is free of any necessity to accept coin or other negotiable instrument in exchange.

Member

There’s a general principle with coins that, for example, a 2p coin weighs exactly the same as two 1p coins. This is so that those handling large amounts of cash can simply weigh copper coins (mixed 1p and 2p) instead of counting them. If this principle were carried over to £5 coins they would need to weigh the same as five £1 coins – quite a weighty coin! The principle isn’t applied universally, you cannot mix copper and “silver” coins for example, but is a factor the BoE would no doubt want to consider.

Incidentally, there have been proposals to phase out £50 notes. Plastic cards and bank transfers are now used for the vast majority of transactions over £30 or so. I believe there are concerns in official circles that £50 notes are now used mostly to launder the proceeds of crime or to evade tax. Whether or not they are withdrawn probably depends on that word “mostly”.

Member

I personally have a big problem of this slide into bank cards only . I dont use mine except very occasionally over the phone and then only to recognised businesses I know about. ie- reliable. I can just imagine a car-boot sale you give your card to the stall holder their machine wi-fi,s it via a hub on site , yes , that would sure go down well—–nope ! What it also means is BB getting more info on you on every transaction and hitting you with sales communications and the government knowing your every financial move , no sorry not for me. And no I dont have the money to “launder ” as my OAP doesnt reach those stratospheric heights that cameron + co and his millionaire cabinet does . I know exactly where all this is going and hopefully by that time I will be gone.

Member
James westgate says:
11 June 2016

If the note feels the same as other notes after all its just money to spend. I’m with it.

Member
Ron says:
11 June 2016

I could support the idea of the new bank notes if I had information about whether the costs of producing them in terms of material resources, pollution, energy use and end of life disposal balanced well against the paper notes. However apart from this – money these days is ‘toy-town’ stuff – it is not measured against a tangible value such as gold – remember that stuff? – it seems to be controlled by rumour and speculation in turn producing forecasts that in turn produce (probability statistics) that are then applied to the market. Where does the ‘real’ value of currencies come from these days? The whole thing is a mess planet wide.

Member

Ron,
LCA = Life Cycle Impact.
It’s all here (I think) 🙂

The Bank of England
LCA of Paper and Polymer Bank Notes
Final Study Report

bankofengland.co.uk/banknotes/polymer/Documents/lcapaperandpolymerbanknotes.pdf

Member

I wonder why these notes are referred to as polymer rather than plastic.

Member

Probably because “plastic” sounds cheap. These polymer fivers or not – to buy them will cost you around £614/100g in supermarket pricing – and no special offers. 🙁

Member

Yes, but this stinks of marketing. From the Bank of England’s website: “Like Churchill, the new polymer note will also stand the test of time. It is cleaner, being more resistant to dirt and moisture. It is safer, with better security features. And it is stronger, making it longer lasting and more environmentally friendly.” This is the first time I’ve heard polypropylene described as environmentally friendly.

Member

Well, the report (that I linked to above) says that the polymer banknotes (£5) use one 27th of the amount of water used for paper versions, 70% of the energy, are half as ecotoxic, and generally have superior environmental performance. Paper is not as environmentally friendly by comparison, it would seem. I suppose the most environmentally-friendly money would be on-line transactions.

Member

Polypropylene ? wavechange that comes in different grades its probably low grade ,high grade stuff is used in high quality audio capacitors (expensive ) military /government labs etc . I agree though I wouldnt rate it “enviromentally friendly ” .

Member

I know, Duncan. But irrespective of quality, when it is shredded and ends up in landfill it will be there for hundreds of years. Plastic-eating bacteria are still in the realms of science fiction.

Member

The report shows the effects of impact at end of life.

Member

Life, it would seem, is infinitely adaptable: “Ideonella sakaiensis breaks down plastic by using two enzymes to hydrolyze PET and a primary reaction intermediate, eventually yielding basic building blocks for growth.”

Member

I hope it does Ian – PET is a poor competitor to PP which has far superior qualities (high grade ) . That includes the chemical composition ,so does it breakdown PP just as quick ? Had a look doesnt refer to PP only PET which I am sure wavechange will tell you has a different chemical composition.

Member

No – there’s no reference to PP, but I suspect it won’t be long.

Member

Thanks Ian. I had forgotten all about Ideonella sakaiensis and it’s not that long since it was discussed here on W?C. I don’t recall any bug that will biodegrade polypropylene has yet been discovered, but it’s probably best not to store your savings in damp earth.

The chemical structure of PET and PP are different, as Duncan says. Most plastics are non-natural materials which is why bugs had not evolved to degrade them. From memory, I. sakaiensis was found near a factory manufacturing PET.

Member

The factory was in Japan wavechange ,typical .

Member
Ken Dunn says:
11 June 2016

They should last longer than paper ones although I saw one torn (I don’t know if it was easily torn but it seemed to be and its owner was angry) on the telly a few days ago.

Member

The piece I saw on the TV news [or perhaps on the BBC website] showed a comparison between the existing paper note and a new plastic one. The former was easily torn whereas the latter was not.

Member
Rupert Hanson says:
11 June 2016

My wife and I spend some months in Chile every year and find that the plastic notes in use there do often stick together, particularly in hot weather. I have sometimes handed over two notes stuck together in Chile instead of one but have found in most shops and businesses that they readily point out my error and hand back the extra note. One needs to be careful in Chile and will have to be equally careful in the UK.

Member

Rupert you might not realise it but you have put forward a vital point . According to the British Plastic Federation the =max con. use temperature is =80 degrees centigrade . While the weather in this country isnt often that temperature it has happened and that means you need to keep it cool and dont put it in that non-eco washing machine or go to the Middle East/Africa . The merging of the molecular structure due to heat must cause trouble.

Member

Australia gets pretty hot, Canada pretty cold, and they with New Zealand have converted with other countries to polymer notes. There seem to be no major disadvantages but not doubt when they are introduced to the UK we will have an animated discussion about our experiences. I wonder whether they may stick togther more when wet (not often that they will be unless they are stuck in a sweaty pocket perhaps, or in your swimming trunks)?

Generally maximum continuous use temperature for plastics relates to its mechanical properties – strength for example – that designers use. Probably not so critical for bank notes. Not that you’d normally see them exposed to 80 deg C.

Member

Chile is a good test-bed for plastic bank notes because it has the widest temperature and climatic rage on earth. Chile’s plastic banknotes presumably perform satisfactorily most of the time otherwise they would have been withdrawn. Once we know the problem we can adapt or get used to it.

Member

A few years ago I was short of cash, so before visiting the Post Office, I withdrew some from the ATM just down the road. I presented one of the notes at the Post Office, where it was loudly and publicly refused as “a forgery”. To check, they passed the note to their counter staff, who loudly “confirmed” that it was a forgery. When I took it back to the bank whose ATM had just issued it, I was told that it was definitely not a forgery, but it did look as though “it had been through the washing machine a few times”. Not surprisingly I’m in favour of any new banknote which is more durable than the present ones.

Member

I cannot believe that it has taken the Bank of England so long to issue plastic notes, when Australia and other countries have had them for many, many years. They have a well proven track record too. Not before time, I say.

Member

Yes, sure they last longer etc. etc. But they don’t fold and I find that annoying.

Member
Michael Callaghan says:
12 June 2016

This is hardly a new idea. Several countries have had plastic notes for years . I really can’t understand what all the fuss is about. It’s simply a logical progression to replace an outdated medium.

Member
William Burgess says:
12 June 2016

Having visited Australia many times I find that their banknotes are much superior to our banknotes,so no problems.

Member
Thomas McGrotty says:
12 June 2016

Sorry not the first plastic bank note I the UK. We in Scotland have had them for a few years. You do not come across many in circulation. I think people save them, like the £2.00 coin

Member

I don’t know why this didn’t happen decades ago. Plastic notes were introduced in Australia in 1988 and all notes there have been plastic since 1996. I never found problems with them sticking together, any more than new paper ones (which they tend to do if fresh from the guillotine). As for the cost of updating money handling machines – this would be incurred for a new design whether plastic or not.

Member

Thanks to those of you who pointed out that Scotland has already introduced plastic banknotes. We’ve tweaked the article accordingly.

Member
Jan Letts says:
13 June 2016

The notes in Canada are the same they take a little getting use to as they don’t crunch up so beware of giving too many notes at one time.

Member
Shugg says:
14 June 2016

The Scottish ones are fine, but you very rarely get any, so goodness knows where they are (I live in Edinburgh). Hand one over in a pub and I still get comments about them. Canadian notes are terrible, as you cannot fold them, so they spring out of your wallet. I took to warming them and forcefully folding them. Isle of Man has had plastic notes for years and by on large they’re OK.

It’s the March of Time, but I can’t help but think they’re trying to make it as awkward as possible to use notes in the hope we all go cashless.

Member

Cashless is “penciled in ” for 2025/35 Shugg and then you lose real control of your money .

Member
JohnT says:
18 June 2016

If they’re so much better for handling, durability and forger resistance, the why not make a plastic one pound note? After all, wasn’t the argument a cost-saving one, mainly concerning durability (to be like a Euro wasn’t mentioned), when coins were introduced. Now imagine the savings in transport costs, in handling, and the great improvement in forgery resistance (where the one pound coin was a complete failure), which could be made by bringing back a plastic one pound note.

Member

John-why not make a plastic £1 note= cash machines and the billions to convert them , who pays . In any case £1 sterling coin will be like the old threepenny bit and probably the same value soon so the value will be worthless in the future so no point.

Member

A trick that won’t be possible to play on anyone with plastic notes is one I saw years ago on the French equivalent of Candid Camera, La Caméra Cachée. An unsuspecting taxi driver is hired to take a member of the Camera crew to his house and is invited in so that he can get paid. They go into this big room where dozens of paper bank notes are hanging on a line as if they had been freshly printed and the taxi driver is asked how many he would like. Some taxi drivers scarpered quickly, but others were happy to take a few.

Or maybe the trick could be played by using a laminator?

Member

Received my new passport the other day [thankfully marked ‘European Union’] and the range of new security features is most impressive, including perforations, transparent sections, raised text, holograms, metallic images, things you can only work out when you hold it up to the light, and even my own signature embedded in it. This’ll cut immigration at a stroke!

Member

Interesting comment especially in view of the EU referendum result, John.

Member

Fans of the new polymer £5 bank note should be pleased to know that it’s been launched in England and Wales today. For those of you who are keen to get you hands on the new note you’ll probably have to wait about a week to get one. Cash machines in London, Manchester, Birmingham, Leeds, Hull and Cardiff will be the first places to stock the plastic note, but only around 7% of cash machines issue £5 notes and most bank branches are expected to have the notes over the next week or so.

Member

I have not seen any of the plastic notes yet. Would someone like to send me some so that I can evaluate how well they survive in washing machines and whether the local shops will accept them?

Member

wavechange, please send 5 £10 notes and an sae and I’ll provide you with the same number of plastic fivers. Let us know how you get on. Alternatively the Scots could let us know their experience as they’ve been using them for around a year (that’s if any Scot would admit to possessing a five pound note). 🙂

Member

Hmm seems like a raw deal to me 😉

Northern Ireland has had plastic notes in circulation since October 1999! Scotland has been trialing plastic bank notes since March 2015. But the Clydesdale will now do a full roll-out of the new notes later this month, then the Bank of Scotland and Royal Bank of Scotland will follow in October.

Member

I think I’ll decline Malcolm’s generous offer. 🙂 I’ve spent a couple of weeks in Scotland since the plastic notes were introduced but did not see one of them.

Member

Polymer banknotes should trump rubber cheques.

On a serious note [!] I don’t know what I’m going to light my cigars with in future.

Member

Watch out John somebody might take you seriously and think you were the projected image of the fat capitalist lounging back in his leather padded chair a cigar in his mouth , champers in one hand and his other hand is grasping a pile of big bucks . A smile is on his face as his right foot rests on the back on one of his workers while the shoe on his other foot is being polished by a down at heel shoe-shine boy , a waiter enters the room with the Times on a silver platter and bows as he presents it to him , he then complains of a crease in the newspaper and growls at the waiter who retreats backwards a la Queens servant in her presence , reaching the door he trips and the tray goes crashing to the floor and the words —FIRED ! issue from the tycoons mouth.

Member

Quite right too! You’re fired – what is the world coming to? This use of the word “trump” again – must be planted here by some crafty schemers across the water or in murky parts elsewhere.

One attribute, I’ve heard, of plastic notes is they can be prone to sticking together. I’m looking forward to visiting the cash machine to see it this is fact or fiction.

Member

How about some “penny shares” sir!

Member

At least its still money issued to the public ,even if its fiat money, just wait till the US/EU/UK do away with it and we are “using ” virtual money then we will have lost control of our money . At least under the Gold standard banks/ governments were limited in their borrowing , and note over long term gold/silver keeps going up in value . If several large countries round the world are buying up gold for their reserves it shows what they think of the fiat money and recently when a depositor in Germany wanted his gold out he was refused . The US also refused to repatriate a large quantity of German gold to the German government , when asked they were only given a limited quantity , suddenly gone quiet on the matter.

Member

Are bit coins plastic, metal or fictitious? I’ve never understood their concept, but they’ve always sounded like bit cons. Haven’t heard much about them of late.

Investing money in scarce commodities that have use is a good idea, even if only decorative. Many metals and minerals are vital to industry.

Member

There is political intervention involved in bit coins , they are ,in fact, competition to the hegemony of the “Almighty Dollar ” . They represent an alternative currency and in a way a “threat ” to the established Big Banks , they are a type of virtual money that is “open source ” . Even so I would rather invest in gold than bit coins although big time hackers hold up computer systems for bit coins , like ransom-ware hackers holding companies and individuals to ransom . They are paid for services rendered over the web.

Member

Cash will always be needed. Buses, taxis, carboot and jumble sales, buying from local bootsale apps, kids pocket money, weighing machines, vending machines, arcade games, giving to the homeless to name a few things cash is vital for

Member

I hope and pray it stays that way Wendy.

Member

I don’t want to boast about my wealth, but I now have a new five pound note – in change from the newsagent for the Lottery. First impressions are good; it clearly does not have a paper feel but neither is it too plasticky – just a matt smooth finish. It will crease (I keep a folded a reserve note behind the card holder in my wallet as an emergency fund, not used unless I’m really stuck) and it folds nicely into 3 but the creases largely come out when it is removed. About 7% smaller, but no bad thing. I haven’t tried a wad to see if they stick together, nor tried washing or ironing – not rich enough yet, but the Lottery…….?

Member

I hope they will feed into the ticket machine at the railway station; probably so as it’s just been upgraded with a new card reader and they surely would have done the banknote tray at the same time . . .

Member

My 1st 4 came from a cash machine in Swindon yesterday.

They look a bit like toy money,
“But it doesn’t matter cause I’m packing plastic
And that’s what makes my life so blimmin’ fantastic”
(Read more: Lily Allen – The Fear Lyrics | MetroLyrics )