UK New 50 Pound Photo: BBC

UK unveils new 50 Pound banknote design as rollout begins June 23

*United Kingdom’s highest value banknote features World War II code breaker and computing pioneer Alan Turing

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

As the highest value in the country’s banknote though rarely used for routine purchases, the Bank of England has unveiled the design of its new 50 Pound ($69) banknote.

The fresh currency denomination honours World War II codebreaker Alan Turing, completing what it called its “most secure” set of notes yet in the United Kingdom (UK).

In a week when central bankers from around the globe debate the latest developments in digital payments and cryptocurrencies, the cash features a quote from computing pioneer Turing: “This is only a foretaste of what is to come, and only the shadow of what is going to be,” agency report said.

Rollout of the new notes starting June 23, 2021, will finish the Central Bank’s switch to currency printed on polymer instead of paper.

The 50 is the highest value UK banknote in circulation and is rarely used for routine purchases, favoured instead as a store of value, according to report.

A 2013 survey found that almost a third of people had never used one, but its circulation is expected to increase in coming years as inflation erodes the value of the British Pound.

Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey said in a speech that “Turing led a team of codebreakers who designed a machine which could be used to decipher German military codes, something once thought impossible.

“Until Turing and his colleagues invented this machine, British Intelligence had employed codebreakers to crack these German cyphers manually.”

Usage of cash in the UK was reported to have fallen during the Coronavirus pandemic. More consumers opt for card payments, shopping online and contactless forms including those that work with a mobile phone.

Even so, the value of notes in circulation has risen as people are holding more as a response to uncertainty.

Report says the banknote will incorporate two windows and a two-color foil, making it difficult to counterfeit, the BOE said.

It also features a hologram image that changes between the words ‘Fifty’ and ‘Pounds’ when tilting the note from side to side. A tactile feature will help the visually impaired identify it.

It was gathered that it depicts images related to Turing, a mathematician and Father of artificial intelligence (AI), including technical drawings of his Enigma-code breaking machine and his birth date in binary code.

Turing helped develop the first computers, and his work on the question of whether machines can think laid the foundations for AI.

He was selected following public nominations and a campaign for more diversity on the UK currency.

Turing was convicted for gross indecency for his relationship with a man in 1952 and pardoned posthumously in 2013.

He took his own life at age 41 as a result of the events surrounding his arrest.

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