nitipak samsen / Designer

Awarded first prize from Future of Money Design Competition 2011, sponsored by Consult Hyperion

    The events depicted in this story are fictitious. Any similarity to any person living or dead is merely coincidental.

The Money Trailer

I vividly remember when the government introduced this new security system. It was such a novel concept: like every single banknote have its own ID, every single electronic penny would also have its own ID and moreover, its own history. They said this would help them track down drug dealers and the like and it would make money laundering easier to source and deal with. Imagine it was like a forwarded email, you could track down who forwarded to whom and who and who and who... It was that simple.

Like every other invention, there was a dark side to it. It was 1st January 2020, when they officially implemented the system. I was working in a government agency that I won’t name, the agency dealt with crime. I was proud of my job and thought I was helping to make the world around me, a better place to live.

I wasn’t really interested in where my wages came from back then. But a year later when this ‘Smart Banknote’ released, it was first time that the public could see this kind of information.


The Smart Banknote, arranges these electronic pennies in chronological order, like a stream of your money which inlet on the right and outlet on the left.


The ‘Smart Banknote’ shows 6 previous owners of the money, I’m not sure why it showed only 6 steps, probably something to do with “Six Degree of Separation” and obviously worked to reduce the memory size of the device.

It was on the 1st March 2021, that they betrayed me, the agency that I was so proud of. How on earth did my wage come from that big time drug dealer! I was disgusted myself and the organisation. Does this mean that even this organisation had been bribed by HIM? F**************


I always wondered why this organisation was composed of 6 of smaller business units, and now everything appeared clear to me. They passed the money between 6 of them before spending it outside the organisation, thus being visible to public. There must have been some sort of accident with my wage, as the mega drug dealer appears on the first owner on my money. If I spent this money this information would be disappear forever, shielded away from the public knowledge.

I knew this system is just another tool to get more money, basically “don’t bribe others, bribe us” I resigned straight away, as I simply couldn’t stand working with, or breathing the same air with these people. I was betrayed, disappointed and disheartened by the organisation I loved.


To be honest, the Smart Banknotes are not bad. It is like some sort of photograph or diary.
I still have the money from my deceased granddad. And I’m not gonna spend it! I feel like it is real legacy from him, well, as real as the money itself.

Earlier this year, Justin Beiber died in that horrible car accident. I tried ridiculously hard to get my hand on his money, any which way I could (!). It was his agent that hired me during his funeral festival.


And you know what, I sold that Smart Banknote that contained Justin’s ‘property’ for £1m, thanks to the hysteria that his life and death created. I’d say Justin Beiber unwittingly gave me a substantial gift…


I used that money to started my own business. The business is quite simple. It’s like what I did with Justin. It’s not that simple to get my hand on celebrity money though. After Justin’s case, there was increase in awareness of how those celebrities spend money. The price also depends on how vivid the memory in the Smart Banknote

Then, last month, that organisation involved themselves in trickery again. This time is directly attacking me. They accused me of causing ‘inflation’. Selling money for more than the price of money itself, this was ridiculous!. I know their game, basically they want me to bribe them. It would be much easier to just bribe them but that means I’ll be compromising my own integrity. No, I’ll never do that again. I still have that smart banknote as evidence of the transaction from the drug dealer. I’ll use that to blackmail them! I’m not so sure if this is a good move though.

Now I can’t count how many threatening emails and phone calls I’ve received since I made this discovery. I’m writing to you here just in case.. I’m disappeared... Please let public know about this.


Nitipak Samsen