However, the complete switchover took until around the 16th century, and in the early days, the Florentine government firmly rejected any change to Arabic numerals. Their rationale was that the confusing new symbols would lead to people forging financial statements, because a zero could easily be made to look like, say, a six. They also feared the numerals would encourage rampant money-lending, because the system could be used to calculate to more decimal places (and thus more interest) than the mere two points of the Roman one. It was assumed that the only people who'd benefit from Arabic numerals would be criminals suckering idiots into debt and forgeries. So some merchants used them in secret coded messages, marking the only time in history when people wrote "BOOBS," then turned the paper upside down to giggle at the numbers.
An influential cadre of professional abacus wielders also had a hand in the delay: Since the new numbers made math far easier, they worried that they'd lose business, and their union would become obsolete. Abacists and algorists held fierce debates, and for a while abacus users won out, thanks to the support of the Church, and lobbying that would make the NRA jealous. It would be like if Netflix was invented, but no one was allowed to use it until 2173 thanks to the all-powerful White-House-backed Blockbuster lobby.