Integraf is a global security organization that develops standards, certifies companies and holds conferences. COVID has affecting the banknote industry and certainly affected conferences in the banknote industry. Integraf just held their 2021 Security Conference in a virtual setting and it was a great success.
The Integraf Conference
Integraf’s 2021 Currency and Identity conferences brough together 850 professionals and government officials together to discuss the latest challenges, products, and trends. This conference blended virtual exhibits, live and recorded presentations, and interactive discussion round table sessions to create a lively and informative event.
COVID-19, cryptocurrency and digital identity were front and center in many of the presentations. COVID has affected the use of cash. Cash demand has never been higher but at the same time, the use of non-cash means to complete transactions has also increased. There is no one forecast for the demand for cash in the new, post-COVID ‘normal’. But the perspective from central bankers and industry suppliers remains positive for the continued use of cash. If COVID made anything clear, governments need to be flexible and have multiple ways to conduct its business and support business in general.
There was a lot of noise about crypto. Also, Central Banks are dipping their toe in to explore what crypto might mean for them, good and bad. It just seemed that no one really knows to make of the run up in Bitcoin price, the hundreds of cryptocurrencies that exist and how to manage and how to control possible use of crypto for a lot more transactions.
Similar Security Features
The story of the upgrade to the 2009 Danish banknote series is also part of the presentation. Another interesting presentation was by Surys which discussed the use of DOVIDs in the large windows of polymer substrates. There is a lot of pressure on overt security suppliers like Surys to deliver secure holograms and durable effects. Kalin Hristov presented the 2020 Bulgarian banknote series along with G&D. This series is the topic of discussion on previous Banknote World posts before. It is a fantastic series.
There were many presentations on identity which is also an interesting topic, as is print management, but these are not the focus here.
So after 3 days and 40+ presentations, what can be said. First, the banknote industry is healthy and has also come through COVID strong. Second, there are more and more new banknotes being issued and technologies being introduced. Third, there is a lot of uncertainty about the future use of cryptocurrencies and digital payment systems. Fourth, Integraf can put on a great, enjoyable and successful virtual conference. Congrats to the team.