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Pocket Change for Space Travelers

_44158294_currency_other_203It’s an advance that comes at least a couple of decades too soon, but scientists employed by the foreign exchange company Travelex claim to have invented a 2001-like space currency perfect to be used by inter-planetary travelers.

The currency is called the Quasi Universal Intergalactic Denomination, or Quid, the Britishness of the term possibly heralding a future of vigorous British empire building amongst the stars. The currency has been designed to withstand the stresses of space travel and has no sharp edges that could puncture a whole in the windshield of a space shuttle.

Professor George Fraser from the University of Leicester explains:

“Anything with sharp edges, like coins, would be a risk to astronauts while the chips and magnetic strips used in our cards on Earth would be damaged beyond repair by cosmic radiation.”

It’s true. If I had a quarter for the number of times I’ve nearly sliced off a finger idly fiddling with a quarter in my pocket, I’d have ten less fingers. Razor-sharp as they are, coins are a daily source of mutilation all around the world.

According to Travelex, their novelty Mickey Mouse money is worth £6.25 to the quid. Good luck getting that rate at an airport exchange counter, though.

New currency for space travellers [BBC]

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