US Dollars printed before 2021 will not be discontinued 2023 onwards

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Claim: Any US dollar notes below year 2021 will not be acceptable from January 2023.

Fact: The US is not discontinuing the use of US dollar bills printed before 2021 from January 2023 onwards.

On 5 November 2022, Observer Times shared an article with the given claim. It read, “Sequel to the just concluded extraordinary meeting held in Washington DC on Nov. 2nd 2022 between the United States Federal Reserve Bank, Office of the Comptroller of Currency, IMF, World-Bank, and Governors of Africa’s Central Banks, the United States Govt has set date for restriction on acceptable legal tender note of US Dollar which will commence on Jan. 31st, 2023.”

No such meeting was held between the US Federal Reserve bank, IMF, World Bank and Governors of Africa’s Central Banks on 2 November.

Fact or Fiction?

Soch Fact Check did not find any such claims or press release of such a meeting on the official White House website. The website is regularly updated with major decisions taken by the American Federal Government.

The World Bank Group and International Monetary Fund (IMF) held their annual meetings in Washington, DC, between 14-16 October, 2022. The US Secretary of the Treasury brought up four points, the last of which was supporting vulnerable countries as they navigate immediate economic challenges. She said, “I reinforced these priorities at my dinner with the African Finance Ministers, G20 engagements, and my meetings with leaders from developing and emerging markets.” There was no mention of meeting with African Banks “to curb billions of illegal monies in dollar bills warehoused around African continent emanating from drug related, terrorism, kidnapping and money from corrupt politicians,” as the article suggests.

The claim also went viral in Nigeria, India and Sri Lanka. It was fact-checked by The Cable, an online newspaper in Nigeria, which explained that the Central Bank of Nigeria launched redesigned Naira notes to curb corruption, effective mid-December 2022. The claim about the US doing the same went viral in Nigeria a week after the decision came out. Indian news site Zee News also published a similar clarification after the claim went viral in India. Fact Crescendo from Sri Lanka also found the claim to be false. It cites the US US Federal Reserve’s FAQ section from their website where the question “Do I have to trade in my old-design notes when a new one begins circulating?” is posed. The Federal Reserve states, “No, you do not have to trade in your old-design notes for new ones. All U.S. currency remains legal tender, regardless of when it was issued.”

Virality

The claim was significantly viral on Whatsapp in Pakistan as well as Sri Lanka, India and Nigeria. Soch Fact Check conducted a CrowdTangle analysis for the 30-day period since 31 October to 30 November using the following search terms

  • US Dollar Notes 2021

The search turned up 14,968 interactions across 336 posts on Facebook and 1,647 interactions across 5 posts on Instagram. It was shared on the Meta sites here,, here, here, here, here, here, and here.

The claim was also significantly viral on Twitter. It was shared here, here, here, here, here, here, here, herehere, and here. Most tweets were linked to the Observer Times article. The same content was also published on Nwokeukwu Mascot and Wap.ng 

Conclusion: The US is not discontinuing Dollar notes printed before 2021, effective January 2023. The claim is false.

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