Get A First Look At The New King Charles Banknotes At This Exhibition
What will the new King Charles banknotes look like? An exhibition opening in February offers a preview of the new designs, before they enter circulation.
The Future of Money at the Bank of England Museum looks at how money is likely to evolve in the future, through topics such as digital currencies, the longevity of cash… and whether the tooth fairy could soon be out of a job. In short, it aims to ‘answer the questions that are most often fired at the Bank of England’.
Not sure what terms such as ‘blockchain technology’, ‘cloud computing’, ‘cryptoassets’ or ‘Bitcoin’ even mean? All is explained in the exhibition, with no prior financial expertise required. There’s also a deep dive into how banking can be made more ethical and sustainable.
The exhibition looks back as well as forwards to explain how money has evolved over centuries. Objects on display include a Roman gold bar, a tally stick from 1824 to record money owed, and a pre-paid debit card designed by the Alzheimer’s Society, to help people living with dementia to stay financially independent.
Chinese lucky red envelopes containing money, have traditionally been given on special occasions, but several apps now offer virtual red packets instead, demonstrating how society is shifting away from cash.
Perhaps most exciting though, is a chance to get an early glimpse at the freshly-designed King Charles polymer banknotes, in £5, £10, £20 and £50 denominations — before they go into general circulation later this year. How long they’ll last for, though, remains to be seen: In 2011, 55% of payments in the UK were made in cash, dropping to 15% in 2021, meaning that the future of money could look very different.
The Future of Money at the Bank of England Museum opens 28 February 2024-September 2025. Entry to the exhibition, and the museum as a whole, is free, no booking required.
Last Updated 26 January 2024