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There are practically no counterfeit banknotes in Bulgaria

On November 1, the Bulgarian National Bank put into circulation a new BGN 50 banknote with a better protection against counterfeiting. BNB specified that despite the widespread use of electronic payments, the demand for paper money has increased which is due to the anonymity of this payment method.

In its last quarterly analysis of the money in circulation, the Bulgarian National Bank announced that its national center for analysis seized in the third trimester of the year only 527 counterfeit banknotes in circulation, which was 297 more as compared to the second quarter of 2019. Despite this upward trend, the counterfeit money in this country is too little and basically you stand nearly a zero chance of coming across counterfeit banknotes, because currently there are a total of 585 million banknotes in circulation.

Counterfeit money is almost everywhere in the world and Bulgaria makes not exception, but unlike other countries, this problem in Bulgaria is not severe at all.

The Bulgarian Lev is the official currency in this country. It is extremely stable due to the existence of the Currency Board. After the introduction of the Currency Board the Lev was pegged to the Euro and One Euro is exchanged for nearly 2 Bulgarian Leva. Moreover, at the end of April 2020 this country is expected to join the ERM 2, which is also known as the Eurozone’s waiting room. Later, Bulgaria will adopt the Euro as official currency.

Until then, however, the Bulgaria Lev remains the official currency in this country and it does not look that bad in terms of stability and purchasing power. The Bulgarian National Bank started issuing banknotes in 1885. Currently, banknotes of a nominal value of 2, 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 Leva are in circulation. The coins have a nominal value of 1,2,5,10,20 and 50 stotinka and 1 and 2 leva (which resemble the Euro coins). The Bulgarian banknotes and coin depict celebrated cultural, state, religious and historic figures and monuments. The banknotes with a nominal value of 20 Leva are mainly subject to falsification, but sometimes counterfeit banknotes with nominal value of 10 and 50 Leva can be found. The money in circulation amount to 18,305 billion Leva or EUR 9.36 billion.

The Bulgarian National Bank has a super modern printing house and a mint where the Bulgarian banknotes and coins are printed and minted in line with all modern requirements for security and quality. This printing house can even make the paper ballots for various types of elections. Perhaps, this fact answers the question why counterfeiters are not that active in this country-the banknotes are very well-protected and are not in circulation on the international financial markets where the US dollar and the Euro are the two main currencies. That is why the Bulgarian counterfeiters prefer to make forfeit Euro and dollar banknotes and the Police often finds illegal printing houses where illicit Euro banknotes are printed.

Sooner or later, the Bulgarian Lev will have to be replaced with the Euro. Until then, this currency will be used by the Bulgarians and the foreign citizens visiting this country.

English version: Kostadin Atanasov


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