Bank of England Accrediting Cryptocurrency? New £50 Note to Feature Alan Turing
The Bank of England has announced a new face for its £50 pound note. British mathematician and computer scientist Alan Turing has been chosen from thousands of names including Rosalind Franklin, Ada Lovelace, Stephen Hawking submitted by the public.
As For Why Turing?
“Turing was an outstanding mathematician whose works had an enormous impact on how we live today,”
the Bank of England’s governor Mark Carney said at the Science and Industry Museum in Manchester this morning.
“As the father of computer science and artificial intelligence, Alan Turing’s contributions were far-ranging and path-breaking.”
Turing helped crack the Nazi’s Enigma code during World War II, who at that time worked for the Government Code and Cypher School at Bletchley Park.
Turing was persecuted by the British government for his homosexuality. In 1952, he was convicted of “gross indecency” and chemically castrated as punishment. He died by suicide in 1954.
The UK government apologized for Turing's treatment in 2009 though the official pardon came about a decade later.
“This is only a foretaste of what is to come, and only the shadow of what is going to be”
A cryptographer, Turing made an innovative contribution to the subject and wrote two papers discussing the mathematical approaches, one being
‘The Applications of Probability to Cryptography.’
“The design [of the £50 note] recognizes the breadth and variety of his contributions,”
“The table is taken from his seminal paper on computer numbers, and in the foreground is a succinct representation of a Turing machine, with the ticker tape that records Turing’s birthdate in binary code.”
Once described as the “currency of corrupt elites,” the note is the least used in daily transactions. But still there are 344 million £50 notes in circulation, a combined value of £17.2bn.
“This is only a foretaste of what is to come, and only the shadow of what is going to be,”
reads the quote on the note.
Could this be a subtle nod to the nascent crypto economy?