How do you market a currency company?

While most companies that influence our everyday lives pay untold millions of dollars to cram their names and logos down our throats, few people know the names of the firms that make some of the most ubiquitous objects in the world. And they like it that way.

Many of the countries with the most high-tech currency security technology happen to be also have the least stable currencies. How can this be? They don’t really have to worry about counterfeiting if their money is unreliable in terms of value.

Wolman speculates that

One explanation is that the manufacturers give poorer countries discounts in exchange for what amounts to free advertising. The notes are mobile billboards, displaying the latest technology to central bank officials elsewhere, especially in wealthy countries.

After all, “part of the mythmaking of being a wealthy and civilized place with a healthy eocnomy if to have sharp new banknotes equipped with first rate security features.”

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Wolman, David. The End of Money: Counterfeiters, Preachers, Techies, Dreamers – and the Coming Cashless Society. (Boston: Da Capo, 2012).

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