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Why 500 Euro Banknotes Will No Longer Be Issued

CXI February 25th, 2019
Why 500 Euro Banknotes Will No Longer Be Issued

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The European Central Bank has had concerns about how cash contributes to money laundering and tax evasion for some time. Large notes specifically aid in these crimes.

Economist Kenneth Rogoff has been sharing this idea for approximately 20 years, and the European Central Bank has slowly but surely put this into action by ceasing the issue of the 500 banknote in 2019. 

The slow process

The European Central Bank made this decision about three years ago, but national banks still accepted and redistributed the note.

While the bank has not printed new 500 banknotes since 2014, these notes will still be accepted in the euro system. In April, Austria and Germany will be the last two euro zone countries to cease issuing the banknote.

The crimes associated with this bill

Notes of high value, like the €500 banknotes, are better for criminals because higher sums of money can be transported easily. Money laundering acts always use cash in their process. 

The €500 banknote has even earned the nickname "the Bin Laden" due to the fact that it aids in finance terrorism. Also, because the bill is seldom seen publicly. There are many ways for criminals to commit these crimes with cash.

The future of euro banknotes

Many people believe that euro banknotes should be phased out altogether and that we should rely on electronic substitutes. However, due to the fact that many people fear deflation, it makes sense to keep cash around for now. 

In addition, a cashless society may be difficult to keep up with for the elderly, homeless citizens, and poor citizens. On the bright side, the euro itself is celebrating 20 years in circulation this year! Learn more here.


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About Currency Exchange International
Currency Exchange International (CXI) is a leading provider of foreign currency exchange services in North America for financial institutions, corporations and travelers. Products and services for international travelers include access to buy and sell more than 90 foreign currencies, multi-currency cash passport’s, traveler’s cheques and gold bullion coins and bars. For financial institutions and corporations, our services include the exchange of foreign currencies, international wire transfers, global EFT, the purchase and sale of foreign bank drafts, international traveler’s cheques, and foreign cheque clearing through the use of CXI’s innovative CEIFX web-based FX software www.ceifx.com

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