On my last visit to Canada, I saw something rather particular: banknotes made of plastic. They look different, they feel different, they even smell different.
So acting like the little mountain-girl from the European province I admittedly am, I was quite astonished by this apparently futuristic plastic money. I - frankly - felt like I was catching a glimpse of the distant future.
Ok, maybe I am exaggerating a bit. If I made it sound as if we were paying in kind or that we were engaging in countertrade around here, let me assure you: That is not the case. (Although, who knows, how long good old paper Euro will make it?!)
Researching a bit about the super-modern Canadian bills, I found out, that they aren't even that new: The so-called polymer notes were first issued as currency in Australia in 1988! And before the Bank of Canada introduced polymer banknotes in 2011, quite a few other countries had the same idea, such as Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, Mexico, Zambia, Nigeria, Nicaragua and many more...
The first European country to introduce a full set of circulating polymer banknotes was Romania in 1999, a country that is not specifically known for its role as a pioneer in modern technologies.