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Trackable RFID currency

Researchers at the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in Saudi Arabia are looking at ways to include RFID devices in banknotes with the main aim of stamping out counterfeiting.

The RFID chips which could be developed in three years use organic components to make them withstand the same wear and tear treatment as bank notes.

The challenge ahead is developing an organic RFID device that is compatible with printing processes.

There have been many anti-counterfeiting methods used like holograms through to embedded threads of metal. Now electronics fitted to a note with each having a unique encrypted number would make difficult to defeat.

However sceptics point out that with RFID notes in circulation significant tracking data could be gathered to find out who is buy what, including forbidden goods or illicit drugs, and paying no taxes.