Frequently asked questions

What is the CBCDG?

The Central Bank Counterfeit Deterrence Group (CBCDG) is a group of 32 central banks and note printing authorities organized at the request of the Governors of the G10 central banks. Its mission is to investigate the common emerging threats to the security of banknotes, and to propose solutions for implementation by issuing authorities.

The CBCDG supports and deploys technologies that deter the use of digital equipment to counterfeit currency.

The 32 member central banks are from the following 31 countries: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States. The European Central Bank is also a member.

Governors of the G10 represent the central banks of the following 11 countries: Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, the United States.

Why does the CBCDG combat the counterfeiting of currency?

The counterfeiting of currency is a crime. Counterfeit banknotes have no value.

While the overall economic losses to society are generally limited, the victims who suffer the most harm are individuals and businesses that receive counterfeit currency, because no one reimburses those who accept counterfeit notes. Counterfeiting currency can also undermine confidence in the payment system, making the public uncertain about accepting cash for transactions.   

Central banks deter counterfeiting by designing and issuing well-protected banknotes, and educating the public about them, to limit the losses that individuals and businesses can suffer from accepting counterfeit currency. 

What does the CBCDG do to reduce the effects of currency counterfeiting?

Anti-counterfeiting technologies supported by the CBCDG deter digital counterfeiting and, by preventing the production of counterfeit banknotes, reduce the losses to any individuals and businesses that might receive them.  

What is the CDS?

The counterfeit deterrence system (CDS) consists of anti-counterfeiting technologies that prevent personal computers and digital imaging tools from capturing or reproducing the image of a protected banknote. It prevents the unauthorized reproduction of banknotes and protects individuals and businesses from the losses they incur by accepting counterfeit currency.

Does the CDS allow authorities to invade consumers’ privacy?

No. The CDS was developed solely to prevent personal computers and digital imaging tools from making unauthorized reproductions of banknotes. The CDS does not track the use of personal computers or digital imaging tools. Independent third-party testing has been conducted on the CDS and confirms that the CDS does not affect individual privacy in any way.

Will the CDS interfere with the efficient operation of personal computer products?

Consumers will not notice any difference in the performance of personal computer products equipped with the CDS. CBCDG representatives work with hardware and software manufacturers to ensure there is no perceptible impact on the performance of their products.

Which manufacturers have adopted the CDS?

Leading hardware and software manufacturers have voluntarily adopted the CDS in recognition of the harm that counterfeit currency can cause their customers and the general public.

Why is the CDS needed?

Although the use of personal computers and digital imaging tools to counterfeit currency varies from country to country, advances in technology make counterfeiting easier than in the past. While overall levels of counterfeit currency remain low, the CBCDG works both to deter the use of digital technology to counterfeit currency and to protect the security of currency.

Will the CDS make banknotes secure?

Banknote security is accomplished through the layering of complementary security features, together with the public’s examination of visible security features. The issuing authority in each country has a program for counterfeit deterrence and is responsible for determining the suite of security features most appropriate for their banknotes. The CDS is one of the layers of protection that issuing authorities can use to deter digital counterfeiting.

Will the use of anti-counterfeiting technologies in personal computer products be legislated?

A number of countries are considering legislation, procurement preferences and import restrictions. The legislative bodies of the different countries should be consulted for further details.