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Counterfeiting & Countermeasures: Coinage to Crypto #8

November 15, 2018

Counterfeiting & Countermeasures: Coinage to Crypto #8

Counterfeiting is a real danger to numismatics and cryptocurrency alike.  Both the rare coin and digital currency communities seek methods to combat the artificial manufacture and trade of the assets that make up their professions.  It should come as no surprise that the numismatic community looks toward law enforcement cooperation and traditional methods, while digital currency experts seek to further augment the blockchain to ensure safety.  

In light of the recent merger between two powerful companies in the numismatic market (RARCOA and Standard Numismatics), many in the field have considered the danger of counterfeiting to rare coin collecting.  Leaders in the numismatic community have made significant donations to enhancing countermeasures, and offered their opinions on the necessity of doing so.  The PNG Treasurer explains that he is "not sure our profession has ever encountered a danger as real as the current threat of counterfeiting. For the profession and the hobby to thrive for another 80 years we must pull out all the stops to combat counterfeiters" (Milas).  Another leader in the field explains his rationale with sentiment for the safety of the future of numismatics: "Over the years I have come to realize just how fortunate I am to be part of the numismatic community, and I want to make sure I’m doing my part to combat the very real dangers that threaten our beloved profession every day by counterfeiters. The successes I’ve enjoyed may not be possible to future generations if counterfeiters have their way" (Charville). 

While numismatists spend heavily on anti-counterfeiting enforcement, denizens of the digital realm look more closely at their currency's backbone - the blockchain - for solutions to the problem.  They still acknowledge the issue of counterfeiting, and share similar fears owing to recent events.  "According to The Next Web, European cybersecurity researcher, Lukas Stefanko, discovered that four fake virtual currency apps claimed to offer wallet services for NEO, MetaMask, and Tether."  Counterfeiting is, of course, different in digital.  It looks a bit more like plain theft, but the premise is the same: fake products for illegitimate gain.  The difference is that the backbone of digital currency may provide its own solutions, as IBM is presently discovering with its efforts to stop hard drive counterfeiting.  "IBM Blockchain Platform will help hard drive sellers, service providers, and product users to confirm the provenance on the distributed ledger, which ensures the immutability of event records. This approach might greatly reduce product counterfeiting, data loss, and warranty costs."  

It has been a governing philosophy of the Coinage to Crypto Series that numismatists, stackers and crypto experts can find common bonds.  In keeping with this thinking, perhaps the blockchain will provide tracking and anti-counterfeiting measures to the numismatic community, despite many numismatists' resistance to change.  





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