The Central Bank of Iraq (CBI) has announced that the introduction of the new Iraqi currency has been further delayed due to teething problems with the cutting-edge technology that it will employ.
Radical new functionality including fingerprint recognition and near-field communication (NFC) promises to create a world-leading new monetary system, which will be the envy of governments around the world.
Several years of collaboration between the CBI, the World Bank, and Goldman Sachs, has made it possible to create a database to track the location and ownership of each dinar note, making the monitoring of transactions much easier.
Professor John Frink, of Springfield Heights Institute of Technology, who worked on the program, explained:
“Each note already has its own serial number, so it is a simple matter to set up a database to record the location and movement of each note.
“Near-field communication, which is already used in contact-less credit and debit cards, allows the notes to communicate with your mobile phone [cellphone] and relay information to our computers.
“Touch-sensitive paper can even record the user’s fingerprint, for additional peace of mind.“
A spokesman for the CBI, Dr al-Jolson, added:
“This is a new paradigm in the management of money supply, and probably the biggest development since fractional reserve banking.
“Electronic money is easy to monitor – we get daily logs of every transaction – but up to now, cash transactions were the missing link.
“The new system will make it so much easier for people to pay their taxes, both in Iraq and abroad.“
To launch the new currency, the CBI is planning a major ceremony early next year, which will be held at the ruins of the ancient city of Babylon. All major world leaders are expected to attend.
Current dinars will cease to be valid three months after the launch of the new notes, but up to that time they can easily be exchanged in person at any bank within Iraq; identification will be required and fingerprints will be electronically recorded.