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How long will it take them to counterfeit it? New 100 has loads of new features

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
October 9th, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

The United States Treasury has unveiled a new $100 bill. The bill is the first new version of the C-note to be distributed by US monetary administrators in a decade. The new currency reflects centuries-old tradition, but also will have many new features that will deter counterfeiters both here - and abroad, such as North Korea.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The new currency is similar to the current greenish $100 bill. As always, the bill will carry a portrait of founding father Benjamin Franklin of the American Revolution.

However - the new bill will feature a vertical blue security ribbon that shows "100" along with small pictures of the iconic Liberty Bell in darker blue.

Pictured next to Franklin's portrait is a tan quill and bronze-color inkwell, with the Liberty Bell drawn inside. The bell's color will change, depending on what angle the bill is held at.

Older $100 bills in circulation will continue to be honored.

Government officials say the new note was designed primarily to combat increasingly sophisticated counterfeiting. The $100 bill is the most global bank note the U.S. prints, with one-half to two-thirds of the more than eight billion in circulation in use outside the United States.

"The new design incorporates security features that make it easier to authenticate, but harder to replicate," Federal Reserve Board Gov. Jerome H. Powell said in a statement. "As the new note transitions into daily transactions, the user-friendly security features will allow the public to more easily verify its authenticity."

The Fed, along with the Treasury Department, the Secret Service has been redesigning all American currency bills since 2003, in an effort to stay ahead of counterfeiters.

Impoverished North Korea has long been known for its creative efforts to generate badly-needed hard currency. The totalitarian state has been all but quarantined from the global economy, isolated by sanctions and other measures to punish it for its nuclear programs and missile proliferation efforts.

"North Korea is unique in that it is the only country in the world to manufacture cigarettes, drugs like Viagra, hard currency; this is an essential instrument of regime preservation," Sung-Yoon Lee, a Korean expert and assistant professor at The Fletcher School at Tufts University says. "The regime relies on criminal activities, because it has no other means for generating revenue," he says.

North Korean counterfeiting is so advanced that US law enforcement officials have dubbed the fake, "nearly perfect" $100 bills "supernotes." According to a 2009 Congressional Research Service report, at least $45 million in supernotes of North Korean origin have been detected in circulation, and Pyongyang may earn between $15 million and $25 million a year from counterfeiting.

How long the bills will run without being counterfeited is subject to speculation, but typically new bills are counterfeited pretty quickly. And while fake bills may fool everyday consumers, members of the Secret Service and other trained experts should find it easier to tell real from fake which will lead to swifter pursuit and arrest of those accused of the crime.

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