Smart piggy bank concept brings the Bitcoin feeling to physical coins

Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and its cousins were supposed to revolutionize the way the world sees and uses money, but it will take more than just a few revolutionary ideas to change a system that has been in place for centuries, even millennia. That said, the craze did reveal a few advantageous features, particularly the handling of money through digital wallets. Of course, the latter only makes sense for the money you’ve already “digitized” through banks, digital or otherwise, not so much for the money you still have at hand. That’s especially true for coins that are often chucked into containers, presuming they don’t get lost, and are almost forgotten. This concept design for a “smart piggy bank”, however, gives importance to every dime and penny, allowing you to really see where your money is going, even if still exists in physical form.

Designer: Guilherme Ferreira, Pietro Vitelo, Gustavo Billo (Breathe Design & Strategy)

Digital wallets that let you monitor the flow of your money have been around for a long time now, but it wasn’t until the cryptocurrency craze became mainstream that people started to realize the benefits that such a system has to offer. In particular, it gave people more direct control over the money they have in their accounts, especially when it comes to monitoring how much goes in and out of their savings. Real physical coins, however, aren’t as easy to handle and they often get dropped anywhere and lost, money that could have added up to big savings over time.


Smart Piggy is a concept that upgrades the iconic pink piggy bank into something fit for the 21st century. In a nutshell, sensors on the slot at the top of the pig-shaped device detect when a coin is inserted and pass this information to a connected smartphone. The mobile app, which is actually the center of the whole experience, is where users get to monitor the comings and goings of their savings, particularly those from the Smart Piggy. It’s a simple feature that has a significant impact on user behavior, encouraging people to actually pay attention to where those coins go.

The concept does leave a few details open to interpretation, like how the system will be able to identify different coin denominations. It also doesn’t mention anything about taking out coins from the piggy bank, so presumably, the coin detection and monitoring is a one-way street. Still, it touches on the possibility of an implementation that can take into account both cash flows, so to speak, giving people not only the tools they need to keep track of those coins but also the motivation to actually pay attention to where they go.