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David Emery

RFID Chip in New U.S. $20 Bills?

By March 2, 2004

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These guys say they microwaved a thousand dollars worth of the new $20 bills and claim that every one of them "exploded" at a uniform spot (Andrew Jackson's right eye), leading them to conclude that the U.S. government has implanted RFID chips in the new currency. Discuss.


January 23, 2007 at 5:56 pm
(1) David B. says:

it’s a rather extraordinary claim that $20 bills contain RFID chips. such a claim merits extraordinary evidence.

the fact that all those bills became charred in the same spot is not sufficient evidence. that’s because there’s an alternate explanation: magnetic (iron-containing) inks. magnetic patterns caused by such inks are already used by bill acceptors in vending machines to distinguish currency from any old scrap of paper.

moreover, that small iron particles can promote rapid heating in a microwave is evidenced by how microwave popcorn manufacturers use a strip of plastic impregnated with tiny iron particles to heat and pop the corn. (that’s why bags of microwave popcorn are marked “this side down”; the side so marked is the side with the iron-impregnated plastic strip. if it’s not on the bottom side, it will shield microwaves from the popcorn instead of helping to heat it.)

i’d be much more likely to be convinced by x-ray evidence. RFID chips all have very distinctive, easily recognizable patterns of circuit traces that show up very clearly on x-rays. x-ray machines are hardly difficult to find. you’d think somewhere in the world a curious radiologist (or the friend of one) would have done a little experimenting and already produced tell-tale x-rays by now if $20 bills had RFID chips in them.

yet nobody’s managed to produce such x-rays. all we have are the charred remains of idiots burning their own money in an attempt to prove a point.

June 21, 2011 at 9:55 pm
(2) Nathanael says:

I have no idea whether the US currently embeds RFID microchips in currency. The EU, on the other hand, has been doing it for nearly a decade. Now with the advent of RFID inks, citing, say, counterfeiting concerns and tax-collecting benefits (most cash transactions go unreported), I think for the US it’s not a question of “if” but “when”.

November 21, 2007 at 3:31 pm
(3) ryan says:

shut up david b. then why dont you tell the world why there’s a uniform pattern of burn marks over A. Jackson’s face. haha ad hominem my ass

January 11, 2010 at 7:27 pm
(4) Chris says:

He just did, idiot. Microwaves cause the iron in the ink to heat up and burn the bills. The eyes are the darkest spots, and hence, have the highest concentration of ink.

October 23, 2011 at 1:27 am
(5) Kenny says:

The other article explained that only one eye exploded, not both which would be the case if it were in fact the ink. In any case don’t you think because “itís a rather extraordinary claim that $20 bills contain RFID chips…” someone should really check it out? I’m certainly not wearing foil on my head or living in the woods claiming the government is watching my every move, but I do enjoy my freedom. We need to do all we can to protect it for ourselves and our future generations. If this is true it has raises some serious concerns. Look at it with an open mind, that is all I ask.

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