The €500 bill set to disappear
On May 4, 2016, the ECB announced the removal of the €500 bill: it will no longer be issued after 2018. That decision was not motivated by a lack of interest in the banknote. On the contrary, more and more €500 bills are now circulating. But consumers are not the ones using them: in France, a vast majority of people have never laid hands on one. Instead, the €500 bill is the most popular denomination among traffickers, terrorists and other shady characters involved in money laundering, undocumented labor, tax evasion, etc. As the ECB recalls, with these bills, €1 million weighs only 2 kg and can fit neatly into a handbag. Easy to transport, the violet bill replaced the $100 bill as the note of choice among criminals and terrorists. So to keep the euro from becoming the preferred currency of organized crime, the €500 bill is ending its run on the market.