Currency is a generally accepted form of money that can include coins and paper notes. Currency is issued by a government and circulated within an economy. Currency is used as a medium of exchange for goods and services; in simple words, currency is the basis for trade. In common terms currency is understood as money that is legally designated as such by the government; however, in some societies currency can be any object that has a perceived value and can be exchanged for other objects.
Paper money is probably the most attacked form of currency. Many US agencies are in continuous alert for new ways of counterfeiting printed money. For an interesting article on money printing and security measures embedded in paper bills, see the NOVA's article: Anatomy of a $100 Bill. Some of the key features of the $100 bills are:
The following are publications and EBooks from government agencies and/or industry and universities.
The story of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) and the national banking system begins in 1863, when the National Currency Act was passed by Congress and signed into law by President Abraham Lincoln.
The Bureau designs and produces a variety of security products. As the Government’s only source for paper currency production, the Bureau prints billions of Federal Reserve Notes for delivery to the Federal Reserve System each year (the Bureau does not produce coins; all coinage is produced by the United States Mint).
The Federal Reserve System (commonly referred to as the “Fed”) operates as the Nation’s central bank and comprises a Board of Governors, 12 regional Federal Reserve banks located in major financial centers, and several thousand commercial banks that are members of the system. One of the important functions of the Federal Reserve System is to ensure that adequate amounts of currency and coin are in circulation. Depository institutions, such as commercial banks, savings banks, savings and loan associations, and credit unions, buy currency from Federal Reserve banks to meet customer demand.
Even with the most technologically advanced security features, it’s you —the educated consumer— who continues to be the best line of defense against counterfeiting. It only takes a few seconds to check the new $100 note and know it’s real. Learn how to identify and use the two advanced security features: the 3-D Security Ribbon and the Bell in the Inkwell.
Federal Reserve Indicators: The 1996 style and 2004 style FRNs have a letter-number combination, which identifies one of the 12 issuing Federal Reserve Banks. This letter-number combination appears beneath the serial number on the left. The number corresponds to the position of the letter in the alphabet, e.g.: A1, B2, C3, etc. The second letter of the serial number is the same as the letter in the letter-number combination.