GOGOL: development and implementation of a digital certification security scheme for Mexican banknotes



The Gogol is a novel security scheme which consists in digitally certifying banknotes through the use of features and characteristics already present in them, a patent was filed (PCT/IB2014/002906) and already granted in some countries. This certificate allows authentication by means of a digital image of the banknote, and it is meant to be used with scanners, cellphones or any other electronic device with a digital camera and processing capabilities. This security scheme ramps up the security by safeguarding banknote’s authenticity under mathematically proven methods which are expected make counterfeit banknotes economically unviable.
During 2016-2017 the security scheme has been developed to meet industrial production scale requirements and it was subjected to a series of tests using a commemorative note issued by Banco de México. In this tests, the possibility to certify banknotes during production by means of their register variations for a production of 100 million notes it was proven. To achieve this, it was necessary to develop a series of statistical and probabilistic techniques to construct a robust certificate able to correctly manage changes by deterioration and differences between image acquiring devices. Throughout this tests we showed the ability to detect several kinds of counterfeits and composed notes (notes assembled using sections of authentic ones), and to perform the correct authenticity assessment of banknotes close to their unfit deterioration threshold.

Issuer and Denominations

100 peso Conmemorative banknote of the 100th anniversary of the Mexican Constitution

Date of Issue or Release

February 5th, 2017

Differentiation of new feature, product, or innovation from existing ones

This is the first security scheme that does not require the explicit inclusion of a new feature on a banknote, but rather it integrates the already present security features and the unique information of each banknote to provide a digital counterpart.

Improved security

This scheme is based on the unpredictable production variations during the banknote manufacture and the use of mathematically proven cryptographic methods which together provide the security expected from a level III security feature to be used as a level II security feature. Moreover, when fully established, this scheme will allow for deactivating banknotes while in transit or during storage in order to disincentive theft.

Important Improvement

For the Central Bank this becomes a very useful tool for monitoring the performance of banknotes in circulation because this allows in a very natural way to track and trace banknotes (and counterfeits) in circulation, taking advantage of the uniqueness, in order to provide new insights for treats and to perform faster circulation trials, and even perform them retroactively using the stored information.
The cost of implementing this scheme is very small compared to adding an extra security feature to a banknote.

Feedback from Stakeholders, Including the General Public

Surveys have been carried out in order to know if the General Public is willing to use such a system. So far the answers have been consistent indicating that people would like to use it very often, principally on high denominations.

Awards | Technical Awards 2018


Best New Currency Feature or Product