There has been a lot of talk over the years about the redesign of the U.S. $20 bill. After a thorough selection process, it was decided that the likeness of abolitionist Harriet Tubman will replace Andrew Jackson on the U.S. $20 bill starting in 2030. But, what about a facelift for other paper currency in the U.S.?
Changing Our Currency
There is a lot that goes into changing U.S. currency. The Treasury Department’s Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP) states that “Federal Reserve notes are a global reserve currency that must meet broad, unique needs: authentication, counterfeit deterrence through multiple levels of overt and covert security features, and function in banknote machines for merchants, commercial banks and Reserve Banks.”
Which is a fancy way of saying that it takes a lot of work and planning to change the look of our currency.
Advanced Counterfeit Deterrence Committee
Leading the process is the Advanced Counterfeit Deterrence Committee (ACD), which is a steering committee made up of personnel from the Treasury Department, BEP, the Federal Reserve Board, the Federal Reserve System, and the U.S. Secret Service. These members are tasked with creating a design that includes consideration of emerging technologies, covert and easily detectable security features, and equipment modernization.
Security is the Name of the Game
The main reason for redesigning paper currency is security. According to the BEP, “Modern technology allows for higher-quality counterfeits. New features, closely aligned with and integrated into new design, are developed to address this threat. More than a decade of research and development, followed by years of optimization and integration testing into the banknote, is required to ensure the successful deployment of these features into U.S. currency.”
So, when can we expect to see newly redesigned bills enter circulation? The schedule released by the BEP states that “The current denomination sequence and planned issuance dates have been in development with the Advanced Counterfeit Deterrence Committee since 2011: $10 (2026), $50 (2028), $20 (2030), $5 (2032) and $100 (2034). This sequence addresses risk mitigation and counterfeiting concerns.”