The Bank of England’s newly-designed £50 note featuring the portrait of scientist Alan Turing has entered circulation, writes BBC.
The release date matches up with what would have been the computer pioneer and wartime codebreaker’s birthday. It means the Bank’s entire collection of current banknotes is made of plastic for the first time.
Paper £50 and £20 notes will no longer be accepted in shops from October next year, although post offices will still swap them.
The Bank of England’s own counter can also swap any old notes for their face value. Despite cash use falling for purchases, particularly during the pandemic, there is still a growing demand for banknotes. Population growth and storing money at home are among the reasons for the rising need for notes.
The note features and celebrates the work of Alan Turing, a mathematician who cracked secret German military codes during World War Two. It is thought that Turing and his fellow codebreakers shortened the war by several years, saving lives.
He was also played a key part in the development of early computers, first at the National Physical Laboratory and later at the University of Manchester.