The nakfa (ISO 4217 code: ERN) is the currency of Eritrea and was introduced on 8 November 1997 to replace the Ethiopian birr at par. The currency takes its name from the Eritrean town of Nakfa, site of the first major victory of the Eritrean War of Independence. The nakfa is divided into 100 cents. The nakfa is pegged to the US dollar at a fixed rate of USD$1 = ERN15. Prior to that it was officially pegged at USD$1 = ERN13.50, however black market rates available on the streets typically offered a rate of 22 nakfas per dollar.Between 18 November and 31 December 2015, the Bank of Eritrea began replacement of all nakfa banknotes. The banknote replacement initiative was designed to combat counterfeiting, the informal economy but primarily Sudanese human traffickers who had accepted payments in nakfa banknotes in exchange for transporting would-be migrants primarily to Europe. A consequence of this was substantial amounts of the country's currency existed in vast hoardings outside Eritrea. The plan to replace the country's currency was top secret and designed to prevent human traffickers bringing their funds back in time to exchange for the new banknotes. On 1 January 2016 the old nakfa banknotes ceased being recognized as legal tender, rendering external stockpiles of currency worthless.The current series of banknotes is the artwork of an Afro-American banknote designer, Clarence Holbert, and printed by German currency printer Giesecke & Devrient.