left accent right accent

Noteworthy News

Money Is Complex, Banknotes Are Simple

Understanding—let alone investing in—Bitcoin has been challenging for the everyday consumer since its launch in 2009. The inevitably technical words and concepts like blockchains, decentralization, ledgers, public and private keys, secp256k1, elliptic curves, and Merkle roots are overwhelming.

Add in the risk of theft, wallet loss, firmware hacks and it’s a lot to understand, let alone get comfortable with. For many, the complexity and lack of understanding can sway the adoption of the currency. Technology tends to build and layer on the starting innovation; sometimes things are how they are because that’s how they were when they were invented. Cypherpunk cryptographers invented Bitcoin, so we get complicated crypto things when they are Bitcoin-related.

Money in general is complicated; but there has been a secret cabal working to simplify and streamline money for the last 1,000+ years to attract the general public.

That secret group of people? Banknote issuers. Modern banknotes are an incredible cooperative sleight-of-hand that evoke trust, value, central bank attitudes, hopes, and dreams in a piece of paper that cost less than 15 cents to produce (for the US $100). And they are simple to understand. A two-year-old understands that a $100 bill is worth a lot. A Bitcoin address, exchange login, or wallet download, however, are a bit more complicated.

Bitcoin has the third-largest monetary base value in the world (as I write this it’s just beating China’s Ren Min Bi issuance for #2), but there is still something to be said for paper money—it’s cheap to make, hard to counterfeit, and easy to carry in a wallet. It’s what we are used to, and the ability to be able to hold something of value still invokes an emotional response. Because of this, I think we should still have paper money, like the other large issuing authorities. And I think we need to get the best, most skilled, and thoughtful banknote experts in the world to make it for us.

So, Noteworthy is a principled attempt to widen our crypto tent by convincing the secretive banknote cabal to marry into the Bitcoin clan.

Noteworthy brings together the best of US and Swiss banknote design, incredible thin chip technology, a world-class banknote printing, design, engraving, and ASIC team. It’s the real deal. We will offer fully backed, decentralized, security-audited Bitcoin banknotes in denominations from 20 millibits to (at least) 1 bitcoin to the general public in the fall of 2021.

Our team will have hand-printed samples this month, and I can’t wait to see them. Our first portrait is engraved by the renowned Thomas Hipschen, who came out of retirement for this project. I can’t wait to show you his work while we tell you who will be on the face of the 1 BTC note. We’re excited to share our work with you and hear your thoughts on this revolutionary technology.

Peter Vessenes