The government shutdown has meant the panda cam going dark, the closure of National Parks, and no advanced notice in the event of an asteroid crashing into Earth, but the Federal Reserve will begin circulating a new $100 bill Tuesday as scheduled—that is, after a two-and-a-half-year delay.
Because the Federal Reserve is fiscally independent, it receives no congressional appropriations and is thus unaffected by the government shutdown. The new Benjamin was originally set to debut in February of 2011, but was met with setbacks when the Fed noticed new security features caused the note to crease during printing, leaving blank spaces on the bill. The note met a second snag when another printing problem caused the ink to smear, postponing its circulation to October 2013.
A decade in the making, the security measures of the redesigned note include a three-dimensional blue ribbon and color-shifting ink that changes from copper to green when the bill is tilted. The ink—part of the government's "New Color of Money" currency redesign that began with the $20 bill in 2003—is used on a "100" featured on the front and back, as well as a copper inkwell with a holographic bell.
Mobile payments startups might say otherwise, but cash is still king. The $100 bill is the most counterfeited paper note outside of the U.S., and is also one of the country's largest exports with one-half to two-thirds of $100 bills circulating abroad at any given time.