Currency

Burning Money To Heat The City

An Estonian man holds a national flag and new euro.

An Estonian man holds a national flag and new euro. Timur Nisametdinov/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Timur Nisametdinov/AP

Estonia is getting rid of its currency and adopting the euro, and this is the last week Estonians will be able to use their kroons to buy stuff. That raises a question: After people trade in their old kroons for new euros, what do you do with the kroons?

Burn them!

An Estonian power plant is shredding and burning old kroons to to heat sections of the capital, Tallinn, AFP reports.

Kroon coins are being bashed out of shape and either turned into euro coins or sold to other countries for making other currencies.

The kroon remains a valid currency in Estonia, along with the euro, until midnight on Friday. But by Monday evening 80 percent of cash purchases were already paid in euros.

For more: Why would anybody want to join the euro, a currency that's coming apart at the seams right now? We answered that question in this post. For a longer take, read this kroon obituary. To ponder money questions beyond the kroon, check out the latest This American Life: The Invention of Money.

Baldur Hedinsson is Planet Money's new intern. He will receive a PhD in applied mathematics from Boston University later this month.

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