Eastern Caribbean dollar

The Eastern Caribbean dollar (symbol: $; code: XCD) is the currency of all seven full members and one associate member of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS). The successor to the British West Indies dollar, it has existed since 1965, and it is normally abbreviated with the dollar sign $ or, alternatively, EC$ to distinguish it from other dollar-denominated currencies. The EC$ is subdivided into 100 cents. It has been pegged to the United States dollar since 7 July 1976, and the exchange rate is US$1 = EC$2.70.[1]

Eastern Caribbean dollar
Eastern Caribbean dollar (English)
Map of East Caribbean dollar countries
Map of countries and territories with the Eastern Caribbean dollar as the official currency
ISO 4217
Banknotes5, 10, 20, 50, 100 dollars
Coins1, 2, 5, 10, 25 cents, and 1 dollar
Central bankEastern Caribbean Central Bank
Pegged withU.S. dollar = XCD 2.70


Six of the states using the EC$ are independent states: Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. The other two are British overseas territories: Anguilla and Montserrat. These states are all members of the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union.

The other two associate members of the OECS do not use the Eastern Caribbean dollar as their official currency: the British Virgin Islands and Martinique. The British Virgin Islands were always problematic for currency purposes due to their proximity to the Danish West Indies which became the US Virgin Islands in 1917. Officially, the British Virgin Islands used to use sterling, but in practice the situation was more complicated and involved the circulation of francs and U.S. dollars. In 1951, the British Virgin Islands adopted the British West Indies dollar which at that time operated in conjunction with the sterling coinage, and in 1959 they changed over officially to the U.S. dollar.[2]

Martinique, as part of France, uses the euro as its currency.

British Guiana and Barbados had previously been members of the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union but withdrew in 1966 and 1972, respectively. Trinidad and Tobago had been a member of the earlier British West Indies currency union, but withdrew in 1964.

The combined population of the EC$ area is about 613,000 (2014 census and estimates[3][4]), which is comparable to Montenegro or the American capital city of Washington, D.C.. The combined GDP is 5.46 billion US dollars,[5] which is comparable to Bermuda.

Queen Elizabeth II appears on the banknotes and also on the obverse of the coins. She is the head of state of all the states and territories using the EC$, except for Dominica. Dominica is nevertheless a member of the Commonwealth of Nations which recognises Queen Elizabeth II as Head of the Commonwealth.


Queen Anne's proclamation of 1704 introduced the gold standard to the British West Indies, putting the West Indies about two hundred years ahead of the East Indies in this respect. Nevertheless, silver pieces of eight continued to form an important portion of the circulating coinage right up until the late 1870s. In 1822, the British government coined ​14, ​18, and ​116 fractional 'Anchor dollars' for use in Mauritius and the British West Indies (but not Jamaica). A few years later copper fractional dollars were coined for Mauritius, Sierra Leone, and the British West Indies.

The first move to introduce British sterling silver coinage to the colonies came with an imperial order-in-council dated 1825. This move was inspired by a number of factors. The United Kingdom was now operating a very successful gold standard in relation to the gold sovereign that was introduced in 1816, and there was a desire to extend this system to the colonies. In addition to this, there was the fact that the supply of Spanish dollars (pieces of eight) had been cut off as a result of the revolutions in Latin America where most of the Spanish dollars were minted. The last Spanish Dollar was in fact minted at Potosi in 1825. There was now a growing desire to have a stable and steady supply of British shillings everywhere the British drum was beating. The 1825 order-in-council was largely a failure because it made sterling silver coinage legal tender at the unrealistic rating in relation to the Spanish dollar of $1 = 4 shillings 4 pence. It succeeded in Jamaica, Bermuda, and British Honduras because the authorities in those territories set aside the official ratings and used the more realistic rating of $1 = 4 shillings. The reality of the rating between the dollar and the pound was based on the silver content of the Spanish pieces of eight as compared to the gold content of the British gold sovereign.

A second imperial order-in-council was passed in 1838 with the correct rating of $1 = 4 shillings 2 pence. In the years following the 1838 order-in-council, the British West Indies territories began to enact local legislation for the purposes of assimilating their monies of account with the British pound sterling. Gold discoveries in Australia in 1851 drove the silver dollar out of the West Indies, but it returned again with the great depreciation in the value of silver that followed with Germany's transition to the gold standard between 1871 and 1873. In the years immediately following 1873, there was a fear that the British West Indies might return to a silver standard. As such, legislation was passed in the individual territories to demonetize the silver dollars. Even though the British coinage was also silver, it represented fractions of the gold sovereign and so its value was based on a gold standard.

During this period, and into the nineteenth century, accounts could be kept in either dollars or sterling. Jamaica, Bermuda, and the Bahamas preferred to use sterling accounts whereas British Guiana used dollar accounts. British Guiana used dollar accounts for the purpose of assisting in the transition from the Dutch guilder system of currency to the British pound sterling system. In the Eastern Caribbean territories the private sector preferred to use dollar accounts whereas the government preferred to use sterling accounts. In some of the Eastern Caribbean territories, notes were issued by various private banks, denominated in dollars equivalent to 4 shillings 2 pence. See Antigua dollar, Barbadian dollar, Dominican dollar, Grenadian dollar, Guyanese dollar, Saint Kitts dollar, Saint Lucia dollar, Saint Vincent dollar and Trinidad and Tobago dollar.

In 1946, a West Indian Currency Conference saw Barbados, British Guiana, the Leeward Islands, Trinidad and Tobago and the Windward Islands agree to establish a unified decimal currency system based on a West Indian dollar to replace the current arrangement of having three different Boards of Commissioners of Currency (for Barbados (which also served the Leeward and Windward Islands), British Guiana and Trinidad & Tobago).[6]

In 1949, the British government formalized the dollar system of accounts in British Guiana and the Eastern Caribbean territories by introducing the British West Indies dollar (BWI$) at the already existing conversion rate of $4.80 per pound sterling (or $1 = 4 shillings 2 pence). It was one of the many experimental political and economic ventures tested by the British government to form a uniform system within their British West Indies territories. The ISO 4217 code of the currency was XBWD. The symbol "BWI$" for frequently used and the currency was known verbally as the "Beewee" (slang for British West Indies) dollar. Shortly thereafter in the 1950, the British Caribbean Currency Board (BCCB) was set up in Trinidad[7] with the sole right to issue notes and coins of the new unified currency and given the mandate of keeping full foreign exchange cover to ensure convertibility at $4.80 per pound sterling.[6] In 1951, the British Virgin Islands joined the arrangement, but this led to discontent because that territory was more naturally drawn to the currency of the neighbouring U.S. Virgin Islands. In 1961, the British Virgin Islands withdrew from the arrangement and adopted the U.S. dollar.

Until 1955, the BWI$ existed only as banknotes in conjunction with sterling fractional coinage. Decimal coins replaced the sterling coins in 1955. These decimal coins were denominated in cents, with each cent worth one halfpenny in sterling.

In 1958, the West Indies Federation was established and the BWI$ was its currency. However, although Jamaica (including the Cayman Islands and the Turks and Caicos Islands) was part of the West Indies Federation, it retained the Jamaican pound, despite adopting the BWI$ as legal tender from 1954.[8] Jamaica, the Cayman Islands, and the Turks and Caicos Islands were already long established users of the sterling accounts system of pounds, shillings, and pence.

In 1964 Jamaica ended the legal tender status of the BWI$[8] and Trinidad and Tobago withdrew from the currency union (adopting the Trinidad and Tobago dollar) forcing the movement of the headquarters of the BCCB to Barbados[6] and soon the "BWI$" dollar lost its regional support.

In 1965, the British West Indies dollar of the now defunct West Indies Federation was replaced at par by the Eastern Caribbean dollar and the BCCB was replaced by the Eastern Caribbean Currency Authority or ECCA[7] (established by the Eastern Caribbean Currency Agreement 1965). British Guiana withdrew from the currency union the following year. Grenada rejoined the common currency arrangement in 1968 having used the Trinidad and Tobago dollar from 1964.[6] Barbados withdrew from the currency union in 1972, following which the ECCA headquarters were moved to St. Kitts.[6]

Between 1965 and 1983, the Eastern Caribbean Currency Authority issued the EC$, with banknotes from 1965 and coins from 1981. The EC$ is now issued by the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank, based in the city of Basseterre, in Saint Kitts and Nevis. The bank was established by an agreement (the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank Agreement) signed at Port of Spain on 5 July 1983.

The exchange rate of $4.80 = £1 sterling (equivalent to the old $1 = 4s 2d) continued right up until 1976 for the new Eastern Caribbean dollar.

For a wider outline of the history of currency in the region see Currencies of the British West Indies.


Until 1981, the coins of the BWI$ circulated. In 1982, a new series of coins was introduced in denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10 and 25 cents and 1 dollar. The 1- and 5-cent coins were scalloped in shape while the 2-cent coin was square. These three were struck in aluminum. The 10- and 25-cent coins were round and cupro-nickel. The dollar was aluminum bronze and also round. The round, aluminum bronze dollar coin was replaced in 1989 with a decagonal, cupro-nickel type. In 2002 new and larger round-shaped 1-, 2-, and 5-cent pieces were introduced, along with a new 1-dollar coin which was also round. The effigy of Queen Elizabeth II was also changed that same year on all coin denominations to the Ian Rank-Broadley design, making it the last commonwealth currency up to that date to discontinue the Arnold Machin portrait. Their compositions remained aluminum and cupro-nickel, respectively. Higher denominations exist, but these were issued only as medal-coins. 1- and 2-cent coins were withdrawn from circulation in July 2015, and will remain legal tender until 30 June 2020.[9]

2002 Series [1]
Value Technical parameters Description Date of first minting
Diameter Mass Composition Edge Obverse Reverse
1 cent 18.42 mm 1.03 g Aluminium Plain Elizabeth II Value, year of minting, "East Caribbean States", 2-branch wreath 2002
2 cents 21.46 mm 1.42 g
5 cents 23.11 mm 1.74 g
10 cents 18.06 mm 2.59 g Cupronickel Ribbed Value, year of minting, "East Caribbean States", sailing ship
25 cents 23.98 mm 6.48 g
1 dollar 26.5 mm 7.98 g Alternate smooth and ribbed
For table standards, see the coin specification table.


In 1965, the Eastern Caribbean Currency Authority issued banknotes in denominations of 1, 5, 20 and 100 dollars, all featuring Pietro Annigoni’s 1956 portrait of Queen Elizabeth II in regalia of the Order of the Garter.[10] The first issues in the name of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank in 1985 were of the same denominations, with the addition of 10-dollar notes. The last 1-dollar notes were issued in 1989 and 50-dollar notes were introduced in 1993. On 1 April 2008, the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank issued a new series of banknotes which are like the preceding issues, except for omitting both the barcode and the country code letters which form part of the serial number on current notes.[11] In 2012, the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank issued a series of banknotes with Braille features in an effort to provide notes which are easier for blind and visually impaired persons to use. The raised Braille characters on the upgraded notes feature a cricket theme in the form of balls and stumps. These characters have been added to the 10-, 20-, 50-, and 100-dollar notes.[12][13][14]

In 2019, the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank is set to introduce a new family of notes produced in polymer substrate and are to be presented in a vertical format.[15]

2012 Issue
Obverse Reverse Denomination Obverse Reverse
10 dollars Queen Elizabeth II, turtle, Green-throated carib Admiralty Bay on the island of Bequia, Map of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States, Brown pelican, Tropical Fish
20 dollars Queen Elizabeth II, turtle, Green-throated carib Government House, Montserrat, Nutmeg
50 dollars Queen Elizabeth II, turtle, Green-throated carib Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park, Map of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States, View of the twin peaks of Les Pitons Volcano – Petit Piton and Gros Piton near Soufrière in Saint Lucia, Tropical Fish
100 dollars Queen Elizabeth II, turtle, Green-throated carib Sir William Arthur Lewis, Map of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States, Eastern Caribbean Central Bank building, Tropical Fish
Current XCD exchange rates

Note: Rates obtained from these websites may contradict with pegged rate mentioned above

See also


  1. ^ Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (6 July 2010). "ECCU commemorates 34th Anniversary of EC dollar pegged to the US dollar". Retrieved 4 May 2012.
  2. ^ "British Virgin Islands". CIA World Factbook.
  3. ^ Population Reference Bureau. "2014 World Population Data Sheet" (PDF).
  4. ^ The World Factbook. "Country Population Comprasion".
  5. ^ The World Factbook. "Country GDP PPP Comprasion".
  6. ^ a b c d e Van Beek, Fritz (2000). "The Financial System". The Eastern Caribbean Currency Union: Institutions, Performance, and Policy Issues. International Monetary Fund. Retrieved 2013-02-26.
  7. ^ a b Favaro, Edgardo (2008). "Banking Supervision in OECS Countries". Small States, Smart Solutions: Improving Connectivity and Increasing the Effectiveness of Public Services. World Bank Publications. Retrieved 2013-02-26.
  8. ^ a b "Alternative Monetary Regimes for Jamaica by Steve H. Hanke and Kurt Schuler, pp. 19 and 43–44" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 25 April 2012. Retrieved 18 April 2017.
  9. ^ "Eastern Caribbean Central Bank Withdraws Coins". Retrieved 18 April 2017.
  10. ^ Linzmayer, Owen (2013). "East Caribbean States". The Banknote Book. San Francisco, CA: www.BanknoteNews.com.
  11. ^ East Caribbean States issues new notes BanknoteNews.com. December 7, 2008. Retrieved on 2012-10-28.
  12. ^ East Caribbean States new notes with braille features confirmed BanknoteNews.com. October 1, 2012. Retrieved on 2012-10-28.
  13. ^ East Caribbean States new 50-dollar note with braille features confirmed BanknoteNews.com. December 23, 2012. Retrieved on 2012-12-23.
  14. ^ East Caribbean States new 100-dollar note with braille features confirmed BanknoteNews.com. February 2, 2013. Retrieved on 2013-02-06.
  15. ^ Alexander, Michael (25 October 2018). "New Family of Polymer Banknotes to Be Issued in 2019". CoinsWeekly. Retrieved 2019-02-28.

External links

Antigua dollar

Antigua and Barbuda are actually two separate islands which operate as one country. Along with many other countries of the Caribbean, they use the East Caribbean dollar as their official currency, which was first brought into circulation in 1965 to replace the British West Indies dollar.

Currencies of the British West Indies

The region known as the British West Indies included British Guiana on the South American mainland, British Honduras in Central America, Bermuda, The Bahamas, and Jamaica, along with its former dependencies of the Cayman Islands and the Turks and Caicos Islands. It also included the Eastern Caribbean territories of Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados, the Windward Islands and the Leeward Islands.

From the early 19th century to the later 20th century, the region generally used sterling coinage, although there was quite widespread usage of mixed sterling and dollar accounts. In the later 20th century there was a move towards dollar accounts in all the territories, in conjunction with the introduction of decimal fractional coinage.

Currency union

A currency union (also known as monetary union) is an intergovernmental agreement that involves two or more states sharing the same currency. These states may not necessarily have any further integration (such as an economic and monetary union, which would have, in addition, a customs union and a single market).

Three types of currency unions exist:

Informal – unilateral adoption of foreign currency

Formal – adoption of foreign currency by virtue of bilateral or multilateral agreement with the issuing authority, sometimes supplemented by issue of local currency in currency peg regime

Formal with common policy – establishment by multiple countries of a common monetary policy and issuing authority for their common currencyThe theory of the optimal currency area addresses the question of how to determine what geographical regions should share a currency in order to maximize economic efficiency.

Danish West Indian rigsdaler

The rigsdaler was the currency of the Danish West Indies (now the U.S. Virgin Islands) until 1849. It was subdivided into 96 skilling. The rigsdaler was equal to ​4⁄5 Danish rigsdaler. The rigsdaler was replaced by the daler.

Danish rigsdaler

The rigsdaler was the name of several currencies used in Denmark until 1875. The similarly named Reichsthaler, riksdaler and rijksdaalder were used in Germany and Austria-Hungary, Sweden and the Netherlands, respectively. These currencies were often anglicized as rix-dollar or rixdollar.


Dollar (often represented by the dollar sign $) is the name of more than 20 currencies, including those of Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Jamaica, Liberia, Namibia, New Zealand, Singapore, Taiwan, and the United States. The U.S. dollar is also the official currency of the Caribbean Netherlands, East Timor, Ecuador, El Salvador, the Federated States of Micronesia, the Marshall Islands, Palau, and Zimbabwe. One dollar is generally divided into 100 cents.


ECD may refer to:


Early childhood development

Eastern Caribbean dollar

Eastern Continental Divide in North America

E. C. Drury School for the Deaf, in Milton, Ontario, Canada

Electronic Commerce Directive 2000

Economic Crime Department of the City of London Police

Electron capture detector

Electron-capture dissociation

Electronic civil disobedience

Energy Citations Database, maintained by the United States Department of Energy

Energy Conversion Devices, an American photovoltaics manufacturer

Equine Cushing's disease

Erdheim–Chester disease

Expanded criteria donor, a class of organ donors

Explanatory combinatorial dictionary

Eastern Caribbean Central Bank

The Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) is the central bank for the Eastern Caribbean dollar and is the monetary authority for the members of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), with the exception of the British Virgin Islands and Martinique. Two of its core mandates are to maintain price and financial sector stability, by acting as a stabilizer and safe-guard of the banking system in the Eastern Caribbean Economic and Currency Union (OECS/ECCU.) It was founded in October 1983 with the goal of maintaining the stability and integrity of the subregion's currency and banking system in order to facilitate the balanced growth and development of its member states.

The bank is headquartered in Basseterre, St. Kitts, and is currently overseen by Mr. Timothy Antoine, the Bank Governor. Prior to assuming his post in February 2016, the bank was overseen by the late Sir K. Dwight Venner. In early 2015, the bank announced plans to phase out the production of the 1 and 2 cent pieces. The date was finalised as July 1, 2015. When a motive was sought, it was stated that it takes about six cents to make one cent pieces and about eight cents to make a 2 cent piece.

Greenlandic rigsdaler

The rigsdaler was the currency of Greenland until 1874. It was equal to the Danish rigsdaler which circulated in Greenland alongside distinct banknotes from 1803.

Grenadian dollar

The history of currency in the British colony of Grenada closely follows that of the British Eastern Caribbean territories in general. Even though Queen Anne's proclamation of 1704 brought the gold standard to the West Indies, silver pieces of eight (Spanish dollars and later Mexican dollars) continued to form a major portion of the circulating currency right into the latter half of the nineteenth century.

Britain adopted the gold standard in 1821 and an imperial order-in-council of 1838 resulted in Grenada formally adopting the sterling currency in the year 1840. However, despite the circulation of British coins in Grenada, the silver pieces of eight continued to circulate alongside them and the private sector continued to use dollar accounts for reckoning. The international silver crisis of 1873 signalled the end of the silver dollar era in the West Indies and silver dollars were demonetized in Grenada in 1878. This left a state of affairs, in which the British coinage circulated, being reckoned in dollar accounts at an automatic conversion rate of 1 dollar = 4 shillings 2 pence.

From 1949, with the introduction of the British West Indies dollar, the currency of Grenada became officially tied up with that of the British Eastern Caribbean territories in general. The British sterling coinage was eventually replaced by a new decimal coinage in 1955, with the new cent being equal to one half of the old penny.

Hawaiian dollar

The dollar or dala was the currency of Hawaii between 1847 and 1898. It was equal to the United States dollar and was divided into 100 cents or keneta. Only sporadic issues were made, which circulated alongside United States currency.

List of circulating currencies

This list contains the 180 currencies recognized as legal tender in United Nations (UN) member states, UN observer states, partially recognized or unrecognized states, and their dependencies. However excluding the pegged (fixed exchange rate) currencies, there are only 130 currencies (which are independent or pegged to a currency basket). Dependencies and unrecognized states are listed here only if another currency is used in their territory that is different from the one of the state that administers them or has jurisdiction over them.

Mauritian dollar

In 1820, in response to a request from the British colony of Mauritius, the imperial government in London struck silver coins in the denominations of ​1⁄4, ​1⁄8, and ​1⁄16 dollars. The dollar unit in question was equivalent to the Spanish dollar and these fractional coins were known as 'Anchor Dollars' because of the anchor that appeared on them. More of these anchor dollars were struck in 1822 and not only for Mauritius but also for the British West Indies. In addition to this, a ​1⁄2 dollar anchor coin was struck for Mauritius. A year or two later, copper dollar fractions were struck for Mauritius, the British West Indies, and Sierra Leone.

The dollar was the currency of Mauritius until 1877. Initially, it was made up of Spanish dollars, with paper money and new coins being issued in the 1820s (see Anchor coinage). The dollar was initially pegged at a value of 2 Indian rupees, then at 4 shillings sterling. In 1822, coins for 25 and 50 sous were issued due to the continued use of the French colonial livre.

The dollar circulated alongside sterling and the Indian rupee. An unofficial exchange rate of 2 rupees to the dollar was used, although this overvalued the rupee for a time.

In 1877, the Mauritian rupee was introduced. It replaced the dollar at a rate of 2 rupees = 1 dollar.

Member states of the Organization of American States

All 35 independent nations of the Americas are member states of the Organization of American States (OAS).

Mongolian dollar

The dollar (Mongolian: доллар) was the currency of Mongolia between 1921 and 1925. Treasury notes were issued under Baron Ungern in 1921. The denominations were 10, 20, 50 and 100 dollars. It was intended to replace the Chinese yuan at par but, according to European travellers of the time, was worthless. Further banknotes were printed in 1924, in denominations of 50 cents, 1, 3, 5, 10 and 25 dollars, but were not issued. The dollar, together with other circulating currencies, was replaced by the tögrög in 1925.

Rhodesian dollar

The dollar (R$) was the currency of Rhodesia between 1970 and 1980. It was subdivided into 100 cents.

Saint Kitts

Saint Kitts, also known more formally as Saint Christopher Island, is an island in the West Indies. The west side of the island borders the Caribbean Sea, and the eastern coast faces the Atlantic Ocean. Saint Kitts and the neighbouring island of Nevis constitute one country: the Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis. Saint Kitts and Nevis are separated by a shallow 3-kilometre (2 mi) channel known as "The Narrows".

Saint Kitts became home to the first Caribbean British and French colonies in the mid-1620s. Along with the island nation of Nevis, Saint Kitts was a member of the British West Indies until gaining independence on September 19, 1983.The island is one of the Leeward Islands in the Lesser Antilles. It is situated about 2,100 km (1,300 mi) southeast of Miami, Florida. The land area of St. Kitts is about 168 km2 (65 sq mi), being approximately 29 km (18 mi) long and on average about 8 km (5.0 mi) across.

Saint Kitts has a population of around 40,000, the majority of whom are of African descent. The primary language is English, with a literacy rate of approximately 98%. Residents call themselves Kittitians.

Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is the largest fortress ever built in the Eastern Caribbean. The island of Saint Kitts is home to the Warner Park Cricket Stadium, which was used to host 2007 Cricket World Cup matches. This made St. Kitts and Nevis the smallest nation to ever host a World Cup event. Saint Kitts is also home to several institutions of higher education, including Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine, Windsor University School of Medicine, and the University of Medicine and Health Sciences.

Sumatran dollar

The dollar (Malay: ringgit, Jawi: ريڠݢيت) was the currency of British colony of Bencoolen (also known as Fort Marlbro' or Fort Marlborough; it is known as Bengkulu today) on the west coast of the island of Sumatra until the Anglo-Dutch Treaty of 1824, when the British Empire traded away Bencoolen for Malacca.

The dollar was subdivided into four suku (Malay, Jawi: ﺳوکو, English: quarter), each of 100 keping (Malay, Jawi: کڤڠ or کفڠ; English: pieces). The dollar was equal in value to the Spanish dollar. It was replaced by the Netherlands Indies gulden after the Dutch took over control of colony from the British in 1824.

Currencies named dollar or similar
but renamed
See also
Currencies of the Americas
Associate members
Financial institutions
Other institutions

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