50 DAI Stablecoin Banknote, Harriet Tubman, DAI0050BAE13 – Tom Badley

Abolitionist icon honoured

Born into slavery in Maryland, Harriet Tubman escaped to freedom in the North in 1849 to become the most famous conductor on the Underground Railroad. Tubman risked her life to lead hundreds of family members and other slaves from the plantation system to freedom on this elaborate secret network of safe houses.
This design completes an already existing proposal to honour Tubman on US currency, affirming America’s past, and offering a tangible vision of the future through a culture’s business card: its money.

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Abolitionist icon honoured

Born into slavery in Maryland, Harriet Tubman escaped to freedom in the North in 1849 to become the most famous conductor on the Underground Railroad. Tubman risked her life to lead hundreds of family members and other slaves from the plantation system to freedom on this elaborate secret network of safe houses.
This design completes an already existing proposal to honour Tubman on US currency, affirming America’s past, and offering a tangible vision of the future through a culture’s business card: its money.
THE TUBMAN PROPOSAL

In 2016 Harriet Tubman was voted to appear on a US banknote. The $20 bill featuring Tubman’s likeness was scheduled to be unveiled in 2020 – to align with the centenary of the 19th amendment to the US constitution, which gave women in the US equal voting rights to men. However, in 2019, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin intimated that the design would not be released until 2028. This decade gap creates tension that can be artistically exploited. The note is part of a family of five designs, each symbolizing a moment in the US Dollar’s brand:

50 DAI – Freedom 100 DAI – Industry 200 DAI – Mythology 500 DAI – Consumerism 1000 DAI – Finance/Mercantilism
This series will feature prominent figures from history, all of whom were integral to the Unites States Dollar’s brand – it’s logo, and psychological meaning. This is a perfect way of marrying the mostly faceless brand of stablecoin cryptocurrency, with the rich power of the world’s reserve. It is a celebration of the innovation of a stable crypto dollar, as the ultimate iteration of the the Dollar’s global function.

Though Harriet Tubman initially had nothing to do with finance, by voting to honor her on US currency, she becomes a part of the Dollar’s brand – even in her absence. The controversial proposal breaks with tradition, easily becoming a step-too-far for such a conservative currency and brand. By decisively creating a banknote design in a Dollar-like currency, it resolves the tension, and offers an uncontroversial future vision.

 
Whilst this series is denominated in DAI, it isn’t intended to be an extension of DAI’s existing brand. It acknowledges DAI in the design’s text, and with DAI’s logo in red, but that is the extent of the DAI brand on this design. Instead, the series is 1) a design and brand challenge, to give an existing Stablecoin a new and distinct persona, and 2) an inquiry into the mythology of DAI’s 1-1 basis: the United Sates Dollar. This series will feature prominent figures from history, all of whom were integral to the Unites States Dollar’s brand – it’s logo, and psychological meaning. This is a perfect way of marrying the mostly faceless brand of stablecoin cryptocurrency, with the rich power of the world’s reserve. It is a celebration of the innovation of a stable crypto dollar, as the ultimate iteration of the the Dollar’s global function.

“I was head-hunted by one of the world’s largest printers of banknotes, creating designs for central banks and other financial institutions. After learning the trade secrets of banknote production, I gained practical experience in every print process associated with the production of money.

The Banknote is the Alpha and Omega of art: it is pattern, typography, portraiture, drawing. It is lithography, silkscreen, intaglio, letterpress. A banknote is the touchstone of culture, the window into worlds, a monument, memorial, and memory. Banknotes are mass-produced, yet personal. Identical, yet crafted.

I use banknote design to express my ideas, and contribute to the future of finance, through fintech, blockchain and cryptocurrency collaborations.

I come from a fine art background, based on technique and craft. I reject lazy conceptualism, and make craft the basis of everything I do. I studied Fine Art at Leeds College, the Slade School of Fine Art, (London), and the Cooper Union School in New York. My work has been shown with Phyllida Barlow at the Serpentine, The Mall Galleries, Tenderpixel London and Rokeby Gallery.”