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Celebrating twenty years of the Euro cash!

Earlier this year, the Euro coins and banknotes celebrated their twentieth birthday. Introduced to unite the European countries and their people, the Euro has had a huge effect on our everyday lives. But what do we know about the cash inside our wallets?

Introducing the Euro

In 1999 multiple countries came together to introduce the Euro. A mainly digital monetary system that was used for international trading. Three years later the first editions of the Euro coins and banknotes were introduced within twelve different countries. Making it easier for citizens to travel, work, and study abroad within the European borders. Today the Euro has been adopted by nineteen countries as their main currency, and is being used by more than 340 million people world-wide. Making it the second most important currency in the world, next to the United States Dollar.

Circulating cash

Even though cashless payments saw a significant growth due the pandemic, numbers show that cash is still very important and present in the market. In August of 2021 the European Central Bank estimated that there were more than 27.4 billion Euro banknotes in circulation with a total value of about 1.5 trillion Euros. The most popular note being the €50, with more than 13 billion banknotes in circulation at that time. Besides banknotes there are also around 140 billion coins in circulation with a total value of over 31 billion Euros. Confirming that cash is not disappearing from our lives anytime soon.

Looking to the future

Introduced to bridge the gap between different countries, the Euro has always focussed on togetherness. Featuring literal bridges on the design of its banknotes to resemble the metaphorical one. Now twenty years and two banknote versions later, the European Central Bank is ready to look ahead. Not only are they considering the development of a digital Euro, but they are currently also researching and opening the debate to the public about a possible third version of banknotes. What would you prefer? Are you going digital or are you sticking to physical cash?

The following sources have been consulted and used as references in this article:

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