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Tech Tuesday – QR Coded Money

We’ve all seen bar codes, right? Those black lines on the back of something at the store that tells the register the price of a product. And if you have gotten packages from FedEx or UPS, you have also seen these different kind of black and white “bar codes” that are more like abstract pictures, called QR codes. Well the Dutch government is putting them on coins now.

Picture of a QR Code
A QR Code

QR Codes are a way that you can embed information into a small, simple pictogram, that takes the person scanning it to a website, show them some text or some other information. The one I created on the side, just sends you to the Q103 home page.

Starting next week, these 5 and 10 euro coins will start circulating in the Netherlands. And if you scan the QR code, it’ll take you to a website. Most of the words are inside pictures which Google Translate can’t see, but the text that can be read by Google Translate, makes reference to a collectors set. So these may be more of a collectors item more than anything, to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the Royal Dutch Mint.

This is the first time something weird has appeared on currency. Just whip out a US $1 bill and look at the back. The pyramid with an eye in it, and other symbols, all with a meaning, have been showing up in currency all over the world since there was money. Kind of like a “Easter Egg.”

I wouldn’t mind having one of these coins, just to collect it. It would go nicely with my $5 New Zealand dollar that has a clear plastic hologram inside of it. To be honest, I wouldn’t mind seeing the U.S. Mint do something like this with those $1 coins. Make it like a scavenger hunt or something. It would at least get them to circulate more.




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