New £50 note enters circulation – will it be the last one?
The Bank of England’s new polymer £50 note has entered circulation, marking the 109th anniversary of the birth of it subject – pioneering computer scientist Alan Turing.
Despite there currently being 357 million £50 notes in circulation, the new launch comes as the use of high-denomination notes, and cash itself, suffer a significant decline.
The Guardian reported – with consumers increasingly going cashless, for million of people it may be months or even years before they see or touch one. Even before the pandemic, many people only rarely encountered a £50 note, and the coronavirus crisis has triggered a slump in the use of cash which could end up being permanent.
The release of the new £50 note marks the completion of the UK’s switch to polymer notes, as well as the first open depiction of a LGBTQ+ figure on a banknote.
During his lifetime, Turing created the breakthrough machine that helped win the Second World War, but was persecuted by the government for his homosexuality, and chemically castrated, before taking his own life in 1954.
But, with a £50 note the going rate for two testicles and winning WW2, what price then the future of cash in the UK?
At Comrie we are regularly seeing a shortage of £1 coins in machines and landlords telling us that lots of their customers are not carrying cash to play the machines. The only way to play a fruit machine in a pub or social club in the UK is by inserting cash, which needs to change to keep up with modern society.