Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Currency Denominations

Most currencies have relatively random currency denominations. They have a one, many have a two, a five, a ten, a twenty (or twenty-five), a fifty, and a hundred. Added to this is a variety of coins.

So here's how you properly denominate a currency:

First, you get rid of the stupid decimal. Make all of the currency have whole numbers. Just make the lowest four or five into coins.

Second, you minimize the number of notes needed in transactions--so no transaction will need more than a single bill of each denomination is needed.

Thus you would need a $1, and a $2 (so you wouldn't need two $1's).

You can get three with a $1 and a $2, but you can't make four, so you would need a $4.

Five, six, and seven can be accomplished with the bills you already have, but you would need an $8 to go farther.

Can you see the pattern? 1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64, 128. Those are the denominations we need, and only two of them are included in anyone's currency.

Of course, people would complain that it requires too much math, but how else are you going to cheat tourists?


Blogger Noumenon said...

I just did a thought experiment... "OK I have three things that cost six bucks. That's $18. That's 8... no, 16, and 2." Heck, even $6 is um, 4 and 2. It's kind of a wrenching adjustment.

Base two currency and base 10 money just doesn't match up too well. You can't handle each digit in turn, "one hundred, two hundred, ten,twenty, thirty, two". Instead you have to mentally divide your $232 by 64, give out the three $64s... no, wait, it's a $128. So I guess the process is "Give out the largest bill that isn't bigger than your number ($128), subtract, give out the largest that isn't bigger than $104 ($64), etc... man, 232-128 is some painful math. Now if the prices were in base 2 as well, $232 would be
11101010 and you could just reach into the appropriate rows of the cash register and pull out one of each bill.

Nah. You are a sillyperson.

12:12 PM  

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