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"I did more research, and realized I almost would rather be a biologist than a writer, because there was incredible stuff going on!"
- Greg Bear

Truffle Skins  
  Genetically unique skins are the common currency; their special genetic makeup makes forgery impossible.  

How to solve the problem of counterfeiting? We've been working on that one for thousands of years. We put serrated edges on quarters to keep people from shaving them smaller and smaller. We use special ink and special paper. You can even buy counterfeit detectors.

But what if it was impossible to duplicate money?

Seating himself at the table beside the display case, Mr. Icholtz brought out his wallet and began counting out skins. "Very little publicity will be attached to this at first.

But eventually--" He offered Hnatt the stack of brown, wrinkled, truffle-skins which served as tender in the Sol system: the only molecule, a unique protein amino acid, which could not be duplicated by the Printers, the Biltong life forms employed in place of automated assembly lines by many of Terra's industries.

From The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch, by Philip K. Dick.
Published by Doubleday in 1965
Additional resources -

A remarkable idea; it also builds on the origin of the word 'skins as a slang term for money. In the early history of North America, fur trappers would bring their catch to a trading post to barter for supplies. How many buck skins for that rifle? How many bucks?

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch
  More Ideas and Technology by Philip K. Dick
  Tech news articles related to The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch
  Tech news articles related to works by Philip K. Dick

Truffle Skins-related news articles:
  - DNA Authenticators: Anti-Counterfeiting Proposed by Philip K. Dick
  - Unique DNA To Foil Parts Counterfeiters

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