The paths that currency takes throughout its lifecycle are fascinating. A dollar bill starts life at the Bureau of Printing and Engraving, travels to the Federal Reserve, then is sent into circulation. The average dollar bill is in circulation for six years; during that time, it can go from one end of the country to the other and back again. Dollar bills, on average, travel two miles each day, and end up with 55 different people per year.
When we think of currency moving, we often picture coins and bills changing hands at cash registers or hanging out in wallets and ATMs. But a huge part of our currency is digital, and many transactions take place without any physical currency present. Like cash, digital currency is in a cycle: from consumer to business, from business to bank or employee, and back around again. One of the most common types of digital transactions are transactions within the same bank, which simply involve updating the bank’s financial information.
Other common digital transactions involve moving digital money between banks. You probably aren’t thinking about it, but every time you swipe your credit or debit card, send aninternational money transfer, or make a purchase online, you’re instigating a bank-to-bank transaction and helping the economy. If you want to learn more about how money moves throughout our world and our economy, check out the infographic below, where you can find out how long a $100 bill stays in circulation, and how many notes the Federal Reserve gets each year!