There is this news about Currency Note Tracking with GPS using something called nano-GPS chips? Is this possible to track currency notes using GPS? Can Currency Notes be used as a reflector for GPS?

And GPS positioning works by calculating position using accurate timing signals from 4 or more satellites? (Cross-section of 4 spheres/wavefronts of signals from satellites?

As far as I know it works as one way communication from Satellite to GPS receiver..


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    I was about to write an answer, but then actually looked into the article you linked and learned that they gave exactly the same answer I was going to write. They already prove that the devices currently available are not small enough for paper money and way too expensive. People would get those notes, remove the chip and sell it for profit.
    – daraos
    Nov 8, 2016 at 18:29
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    no they cannot yet,, they would need to have a GPS unit and power source to emit the location. Probably a transmitter as well. They would all have to be tiny and cost a fortune. Nov 11, 2016 at 13:54

2 Answers 2


Alright, this question stays in the top list, because nobody has "answered" it. So let's see.

According to this article: Rs 2000 Currency Note With Nano GPS Chip – Hoax or Not?

World’s smallest fully integrated GPS receiver has been developed by OriginGPS Nano Spider, which measures 4x4x2.1mm.

You can see the chip here. It's small, but not flat enough to be integrated in paper money. The average banknote has a thickness of 0.11mm

No, banknotes cannot be tracked with GPS.

In addition to this, the value of GPS trackers that size would exceed the denomination of the note. Even if it was possible at this time, no country would do it. People would get the banknotes, remove the chips and sell them.

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    Additionally, one would need a power source, and a way of transmitting the data out - normally a very power-consuming cellular radio. Nov 10, 2016 at 7:12
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    Jepp? Not familiar with the term. As for batteries, lithium metal (not lithium ion) coin cells seem reasonably stable - commonly found in e.g. car keys. That said, I would be going for RFID and meter-plus range readers in strategic locations if I wanted to track currency. Nov 10, 2016 at 7:18

Tracking currency with an integrated GPS/RFID (Radio Frequency IDentification) system is still in various stages of research and currently not in implementation in any country of the world.

1) North Dakota State University has created a method of creating laser RFID which would write an RFID on paper or currency (see http://spectrum.ieee.org/tech-talk/semiconductors/devices/smart-paper-makes-traceable-money-possible)

2) RFID's passively store information but when interrogated by radio waves, they will respond so they do not need a power source. RFID range can be 100s of meters.

3) If you put a GPS unit on a vehicle then inside the vehicle deploy an RFID reader then you can travel around interrogating and tracking currency. See http://www.ilinctech.com/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=GrkgZSxvoek=&tabid=89&mid=449 for an example of GPS/RFID integration.

4) see: http://www.rfidjournal.com/blogs/experts/entry?10729 for past GPS/RFID integrations

PS - Saudi Arabia is experimenting to embed RFID in their currency: http://spectrum.ieee.org/podcast/computing/embedded-systems/trackable-banknotes-at-last

  • You make it sound like GPS tracking currency will ever be feasible. It won't. RFID is totally different. A RFID chip can be used to identify a banknote and store some small amount of information. "Tracking" currency with RFID is like "tracking" cars by putting a notepad on every car and ordering all police officers to write location and date on that whenever they pass a car.
    – Josef
    Nov 16, 2016 at 10:38

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