The note burned quickly in his outstretched hand. Each flickering flame that it produced was noted by the small group of rag adorned people who had gathered around the old man to watch the proceedings.
The note itself was worthless. It was the note holder who had invested in the idea that the note held value, that it was the physical representative of a promise to pay the bearer a certain sum. In reality it was nothing more than a heavily decorated strip of paper.
At first it was recorded as an oddity, a weird news story that had happened a few times in the rural counties. Random flash fires, a lower denomination note or two burnt in a public space. Second hand accounts started to slowly trickle into the media outlets, news of more and more money fires. The note denominations started to rise in value as the practice spread from village to town, town to city, country to country.