bitcoin banknotes by tom badley transport cryptocurrency into the physical realm

bitcoin banknotes by tom badley transport cryptocurrency into the physical realm

fusing digital and tangible monetary realms

 

Fusing the digital and tangible to transform cryptocurrency into a physical form, Tom Badley introduces a family of banknote-like bearer instruments, capable of holding and transmitting Bitcoin. The London-based designer’s concept for Bitcoin Banknotes has been a persistent idea since the inception of cryptocurrency in 2009, drawing a connection to traditional monetary structures. The vibrant design of the notes celebrates the novelty, volatility, and contrarian nature of its namesake through a modernist, aspirational, and affirmative approach. Recognizable visual elements such as logos, flags, moons, and the Genesis Block hash find a place in the design lexicon. However, given Bitcoin’s faceless nature, a classical heads motif reminiscent of Hellenistic deities was introduced to instill a sense of trust, a crucial element in currency design. Nodding to Bitcoin’s association with ‘moon money’, each deity on the banknotes also wears an astronaut’s suit, and the rim of the helmet collar helps to frame the heads.

vibrant bitcoin banknotes by tom badley transport cryptocurrency into the physical realm
all images courtesy of Tom Badley

 

 

tom badley’s imagery nods to bitcoin’s ‘moon money’ ideology

 

Bitcoin, with its roots in the word ‘coin,’ has long been visually associated with existing forms of money; even early logo iterations embraced the familiar imagery of coins. Tom Badley’s concept of the Bitcoin Banknote extends the cryptocurrency’s reach into the realm of cash, emphasizing the significance of paper wallets as Bitcoin’s offline storage medium. Paper and private Bitcoin thus share a common domain. Many paper wallets have assumed the form of ‘play money’, vouchers, or simple banknotes, to embellish them with the feel of money. This has always fallen short, because the creators of these paper wallets did not use the secure printing techniques used in banknote production – until now…’ notes the designer.

 

Offline.Cash tasked the Badley with creating a family of four banknotes, each functioning as private, individual wallets with fixed Bitcoin values stored on scannable chips that allow cryptocurrency to be reliably transacted in cash form. The goal of Offline.Cash was two-fold: first, to captivate existing cryptocurrency enthusiasts, the ‘hodlers,’ and second, to provide a reliable means of transacting Bitcoin in cash where traditional currency might be scarce, aligning with Bitcoin’s humanitarian role. The banknotes are printed on a durable plastic substrate, employing high security printing processes including intaglio, the raised printing commonly found on traditional banknotes. This level of production marks them as a ‘world first’ in mass-produced Bitcoin wallets meeting banknote standards.

vibrant bitcoin banknotes by tom badley transport cryptocurrency into the physical realm
a family of banknote-like bearer instruments capable of holding and transmitting Bitcoin

 

 

The design brief mandated a paradoxical balance between delight and gravitas, capturing the mystique of both early Cassacius coins and the origins of Bitcoin. The main design limitation was that the notes would be printed on the same sheet, together, using a six-color process, requiring careful consideration of design and workflow to maximize the limited color combinations available. The use of light and bright colors enhances visual appeal and differentiation, diverging from the conservative color palette of centralized money. The impressionistic design approach, necessitated by the printing limitations, imparts a seamless blend of colors, creating an illusion of separate printing and a rounded edge finish.

 

Keen banknote observers will note the resemblance to Thai Bhat (with symbology often mistaken for Bitcoin) which was a source of inspiration for Tom Badely. This asian flavor blended with Classicism also gives the notes a global placelessness while still being visually rich. Countering this are easily readable typefaces and blindmarks, while the renewable energy theme on the reverse side addresses Bitcoin’s power source dilemma, featuring solar, wind, geothermal, and hydroelectric themes. Since their release, the Bitcoin banknotes have garnered widespread praise for successfully achieving their dual purpose of delighting cryptocurrency enthusiasts and functioning as a trusted means of physical exchange. 

vibrant bitcoin banknotes by tom badley transport cryptocurrency into the physical realm
Bitcoin Banknote extends the cryptocurrency’s reach into the realm of cash

vibrant bitcoin banknotes by tom badley transport cryptocurrency into the physical realm
the vibrant design celebrates the novelty, volatility, and contrarian nature of its namesake

bitcoin banknotes by tom badley transport cryptocurrency into the physical realm
a classical heads motif reminiscent of Hellenistic deities instills a sense of trust

bitcoin banknotes by tom badley transport cryptocurrency into the physical realm
printed on a durable plastic substrate, employing high security printing processes

bitcoin-banknotes-tom-badley-designboom-1

 

project info:

 

name: Bitcoin Banknotes
designer: Tom Badley

 

designboom has received this project from our DIY submissions feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.

 

edited by: ravail khan | designboom

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