Will plastic be the new paper?

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Just last week, Canada issued a first in currency notes: a plastic $100 bank note. I have to admit – they are pretty cool looking. Check out the Bank of Canada’s video:

According to the Bank of Canada, the move to plastic serves several purposes. One (and probably most important) is to combat counterfeit notes. With it’s elaborate production – there is very little (if any) chance someone will be able to duplicate it.

Another reason for the move is durability. The B of C is saying that the polymer notes will last twice as long as paper. Plus, the plastic is recyclable.

I think this is a great idea. I have yet to see one in person to check its texture, nor have I attempted to put one in the wallet – but it’s got to be the next new, big thing in currency.

Perhaps this will bode well for the savings rate? Maybe this will cause people to think twice about spending the money because they think the money “too cool” to spend? Could this lead to collecting the currency instead of spending it?

Obviously there is a danger in no one ever spending money. But for a debt-ridden world – maybe collectable-looking bank notes could cause us to think again about buying the unnecessary?

For many years, Canada led the US in its savings rate. But that tide has now changed. Due to several factors, including the Great Recession – Canada is on a downward spiral in per-person savings.

Will the new bank notes have an affect? I doubt it – but it is something to ponder. What if we turned currency into actual gold or silver? Would it make a difference in my spending habits? I would think so.

So, how about a striking and well-designed currency? Could that possibly change the way we spend?

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