Researchers at the University of Warwick's Department of Computer Science and Durham University in the U.K. said a technique called Polymer Substrate Fingerprinting could be used to identify the unique, unclonable “fingerprints” of Bank of England banknotes, in order to thwart counterfeiting.
Each polymer banknote has a “fingerprint” of random translucent patterns caused by defects in the manufacturing process, which are visible when back-lit.
The researchers' image-analysis method puts the banknotes through a negative-film scanner, and processes the resulting images into 2,048-bit feature vectors to uniquely identify each banknote.
The team used 340 banknotes to compile a dataset of 6,200 sample images, and showed the technique could identify each banknote's fingerprint accurately, despite rough daily handling.
Warwick's Feng Hao said, "This new finding gives us the basis to design a completely new anti-counterfeiting method for banknotes."
From University of Warwick (U.K.)
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