sofia design festival


The Money of the Future

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The Money of the Future

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The digital exhibition The Money of the Future presents 21 works, selected from the contest organized during the fourth edition of the International Design Festival Melba, by Settle - an innovative platform for mobile payments, available throughout Europe and Melba.

“In the turbulent and ever changing world we inhabit, money often plays a leading role. Often imperceptibly, and even more often quite clearly and topically, they take on the meaning of 'value'. Although without an exact beginning, their story is connected with many different versions and shapes around the world and it is these transformations that provoked us to look into the Future and see the Money there through the eyes of artists.” Settle


Adriana Andreeva and Boyana Gyaurova (Studio Komplekt)

Momchil Zahariev (NEXT-DC)

Detelina Momcheva (Settle)

The exhibition will remain available for viewing indefinitely.

The first prize winner is Dávid Szücs.

The remaining 20 prizes go to the following artists:

Piece of Change
experience the artwork

When artificial intelligence and robot technology will develop so far than humans would ever be capable of competing with, the last remaining unique product of individuals will remain their customer data. It will behave like a currency, exchanging details and raw data of our lives for goods and services. We can see this tendency already in the "wild west" of social media services nowadays.

The Transformation of Money

The image of Adam's creation, painted by Michelangelo in the Sistine Chapel and in particular the two outstretched hands of the creator and Adam, became an emblematic symbol that connects the immaterial-spiritual with the material-physical.

Today the material has replaced the spiritual and its material expression is money. Could we dematerialize them and at the same time preserve their value in a more spiritual way?

This work of art inspired my project.

My main idea is to keep the gesture of pointing my hand at another person, as an act of giving and receiving, but instead of giving a real object, we give an information wave.

For this purpose, my idea is to use human fingerprints as an authentic means of identification. According to the fingerprint, small transparent soft stickers are made (such as second skin, transparent carriers of personal information about the person's cash in a certain bank. Fingerprints from other fingers can also be used, such as the index finger has a sticker of Mastercard, Maestro, ring finger of Visa, etc.

Accordingly, the person who accepts the money has a transparent-invisible sticker in the center of his palm and accepts the payment by reading the data transmitted by the finger.

In monetary interaction, payment is made by pointing the index finger at the payee's palm, which in itself preserves human closeness and interaction, which distinguishes us from the cold life of technology, artificial intelligence and robots.


Distopian: а world, I hope will never come - where water the most expensive currency, every drop worth half a salary.

The Gardener

‘’The gardener’’ is my personal currency in my Metaverseworld (the three-dimensional, multisensory online reality to which the Internet is evolving). In this world I sell virtual aquatic plants and animals that I am designing. Clients buy designer fish for the ponds in their worlds, and I get the income in my personal currency, because everyone has the whole world, what is it like to have their own currency as well.

Smiling as the money of the future

Why do I think a smile can be a means of payment?

I guess you've noticed that we live in a rather gloomy world. From the people in the subway, through the ones in the bakeries, cafes, shops, to the saleswoman of widget in the National Palace of Culture. The smile recedes, people rarely respond with a smile back even on sunny days.

This is a very sad fact that psychologists and scientists prove - modern man does not smile. Unfortunately, this is a fact. I guess in the future we will smile even less, which will make smiling people and the smile itself a very expensive thing, which suggests that it could even become a visual means of payment. That's why I chose the smile to be "money" from the future.

My interpretation of The money of the future is based on the fact that the money of the future is already here in the form of digital payments, and some of the people who would use it are not yet fully prepared. So I illustrated a grandmother who pays in the modern way, but with a more old-fashioned technology.

Perfect Money

Our future seems increasingly absurd. Probably our money will be the same.

Just as banknotes that correspond to every possible amount to the nearest penny. They consist of two parts - the main one, which is responsible for the banknotes, and the smaller one, which is responsible for the pennies.

Banknotes are more likely to entirely disappear. In their honor, the aesthetics, traditions and canon of this type of money are preserved.

Decentralised Control

This artwork portrays the financial revolution in present times, connected to money transforming into crypto currency, leading to decentralized control of the world's wealth. With the foreseeing eyes of the oracle looking at the two children cutting paper money, symbolically transforming paper to cyber codes, and the checkered floor of the ball representing the riches ground floor of King Solomon's Temple.

Banknote for a Moon Base

The lunar base banknote faces the question of how this key element of our daily lives will evolve along with us? Our money will have to be moving with the speed of light and also to be weightless when we are preparing our luggage.

It has only a face, because it will no longer need the physical object and the future of our finances will be entirely online. It also has a 3D version that people will be able to see because of the built-in chips in their bodies that will connect them to the central information system.

The design uses superimposed simple shapes and bright colors to achieve the same sense of visual sophistication as a paper banknote without straining the eye.


With the decentralization of currencies, we no longer need a bank to certify the value of virtual money, with the advancement of technology, maybe one day with the help of a mobile application and the smartphone camera we will be able to give our chosen value to random objects , instead of using banknotes (whether purely symbolic or in a controlled environment).

To illustrate this idea, I used a poker table, as the casino is a place where this is already happening - while we are inside the casino, we use chips instead of banknotes, but again we have a central institution (the casino) that certifies their value.

However I imagine, a situation where, players can gamble with all sorts of items at their disposal, attributing whatever value they want.

H2O Value

The idea that I developed is water as a currency. Taking into consideration that water resources are depleted due to global warming, it is forecasted that in the future water will be used as an exchange medium. Every drop will be important for the human survivor.


Nowadays, in the world with no borders everybody is constantly converting currencies on a daily basis. We are used to “to do the math” both for shopping online or a quick weekend escape abroad. I believe in a future with no currency, but information stored in our DNA. A new level of identification and contactless payment that is secured by the unique gene code of each of us.

ME Currency

Someday in the future when we don’t pay only with the time spent working, but also with the time we spent accumulating knowledge or taking care of everything and everyone around us … when this ‘’day’’ comes we will not need payment cards or IDs, or phones nor we will see cashiers. Only with one ‘’look’’ it will be clear where we are headed and what we want to buy. We will be able to choose which credit account will be suitable. Or entirely by … Me.

Whether this ‘’day’’ will be a good day... That’s another topic.

Super Money

Money is and will be an integral part of our society, in which products and services are valued. At least until a higher form of energy exchange appears.

Digital and fintech payments are strengthening their dominance and making paper and coin issues into something exotic.

Globalization will continue until many currencies disappear. As long as countries have specific tax requirements and chosen payment methods, they will exist.

And cryptocurrencies will increasingly enter everyday life, helping to decentralize financial systems.

But will this be the solution to the financial crisis? Will the increasingly fierce gaps between the social strata be filled? Is there a way to meet all the money shortages, all the debts, and is an exponential economy in a circular system like our fragile ecosystem even possible?

Will an effective ecological solution be found for digging cryptocurrencies? Will there be a way to limit the trade in illegal products through the blockchain?

How much will virtuality change our perceptions? How will we realize and appreciate the value of things when we become more and more abstracted from their physical counterparts (one of the deep crises that can still be seen in our civilization today)?

We can only guess at all these questions, but until then, why not release one real (meta)l coin and collect a few virtual ones?

Just one more level, I promise!

It’s Time for a Digital Payback

For me, the future of money holds in digitizing them - something that is already happening very fast. I decided to approach in a naive way and illustrated how a smartphone lurks over a paper banknote or how the place of our money is in our pocket again, but this time in our digital wallet

Me, Shopping in 2081

This is how I imagine the way I would be paying in the near future.

The Last Banknote's Fate

The idea is the validity of paper money and how our perception about them would change.

An Observant Eye

The idea of ​​a logo that identifies the money of the future is directly related to the idea of ​​the omniscient Internet / electronic eye, an integral part of modern life. The logo is designed in different variations, which allows its use in different contexts and media. Тhe lectronic money are presented as a continuous stream - easy to use but safe. Electronic money is equivalent to art, such as visual art signs / graphics.

Design art sign. Variations in a general logo system are proposed. A series of images, variations of one art sign denoting different monetary value - 1, 5, 10, 50, 100, 1000, 5000, 10000 .... The art sign itself can be modified and denote different values ​​of virtual money. Shopping can be done by identifying the art sign, which can be selected from the screen of the phone, tablet, desktop.

The main colors are cyan, black and white. Cyan is a typically distant electronic color (the color of the screen, of the infinite digital space), associated with economics and business. The eye alludes to integrity and constant control and security.

Colorful Vending Machines

You can see vending machines that give coins that will be used as money in the future.

The Mind is the New Credit Card

Paper money will be a thing of the past and will be replaced by digital currency. Whether that will be bitcoin or something else. We'll have a much narrower selection of currencies. I like to imagine that in the future technology will be so far ahead that we'll be able to purchase things with just our thoughts.


As the world continues to move towards digitalization, a cashless digitalized society seems inevitable. Going even further than that, some futurists point out that a chip that tracks humans' emotions will be commercialized in the future decades. I believe that we should not forget how essential face-to-face conversation is to our relationships, our mental health and our capacity for empathy.

Synergy is a digital currency focused on real-life human interactions. It is earned through acts of empathy and affection towards another human. The simple act of kindness will increase your Synergy coins, which can later be used for self-care activities such as sports, healthy food or event tickets. This is possible through the emotion chip of the person affected by your act, which transforms the positive energy of gratitude into Synergy.

Synergy gives the opportunity to engage with others in a powerful, genuine new way.