World Currencies

World Currencies

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World Currencies is a currency dictionary with short details about many world currencies. If you want to know what quid or fiat currency mean, then World Currencies will help you find out.

A currency is the particular type of money that exists in a country and is used to carry out business transactions. Most countries utilize a currency that is unique to them (e.g. the naira in Nigeria, the koruna in the Czech Republic, the renminbi in China, etc.) whereas others have adopted a common currency to alleviate commercial activities (for example, 16 of the 27 member countries of the European Union use the Euro as their currency unit).

Typically a nation's currency is produced and controlled by the local central bank or the Ministry of Finance. In most countries, these institutions have a relative autonomy from the government and can act on their own within certain limits.

For trade purposes, a country’s currency can be transformed into another currency at a predefined ratio called rate of exchange. What this ratio is for a particular geographical zone is determined by the respective central bank. Depending on its exchange rate regime, a currency can be fixed or floating. Fixed currency is one whose value is matched to the value of another single currency or to a precious commodity, such as gold or silver. The value of a fixed currency will vary in accordance with the value of the currency it is fixed to. Under the Bretton Woods System, most currencies were fixed to the value of the US dollar. The US currency, on its turn, was fixed to the value of gold. When governments aim to keep currencies at specified levels, they enter the currency markets. The monetary authorities will buy and sell while monitoring supply and demand.

The second type of currency, floating currency, does not depend for its value on another currency. Rather, the worth of a floating currency is determined by its performance on the foreign exchange market. National currencies weaken or strengthen depending on the volume of hard currency reserves and gold, their international trade balances, level of inflation, and the overall stability of the economy. Most of the currencies used around the world are floating. The Canadian dollar is regarded as a model floating currency because since 1998, the Canadian Central Bank has stopped interfering with its price.

Based on how profitable it is to trade in a particular currency on the market, the world’s top 3 currencies are: the US dollar, which is involved in 90 percent of all transactions worldwide and is the world’s foremost reserve currency; the Euro, the official currency of the second largest economy in the world (used in the Eurozone), which accounts for 37 percent of the daily transactions in the foreign exchange market; and the Japanese yen, which is involved in a fifth of all forex transactions and is boosted by Japan’s thriving commerce.

Other valuable currencies, which are worth investing in, are the British pound (a.k.a. pound sterling), and the Swiss franc. Together, these two are involved in 10 percent of the deals on the foreign exchange market.

A common trait of the first four of the above currencies is that they are all fiat currencies. This means that they have no intrinsic value, i.e. they are not based on any physical commodity, but their worth depends on people's faith in them. If people lose faith in a fiat currency, it will stop holding any value and will become no more precious than the paper it was printed on.

The fifth currency, the Swiss franc, is part of the country’s gold standard system. Under this system, the currency is fixed to gold and depends for its worth and rate of exchange on that precious metal.

Algerian dinar
Australian dollar
Austrian schilling
Barbados dollar
Belgian franc
Belize dollar
Benin franc
British pound
Brunei dollar
Burundi franc
Cameroon franc
Canadian dollar
Cape Verde escudo
Cayman Islands dollar
Chilean peso
Colombian peso
Congo franc
Costa Rican colon
Cuban peso
Cypriot pound
Danish krone
Djibouti franc
Dominican dollar
Egyptian pound
Equatorial Guinea
fiat currency
Fiji dollar
French franc
Gabon franc
German mark
Greek drachma
Grenada dollar
Guyana dollar
Hong Kong dollar
Indian rupee
Iranian rial
Iraqi dinar
Irish punt
Italian lira
Ivory Coast franc
Jordanian dinar
Kenyan shilling
Kiribati dollar
Kuwaiti dinar
Lebanese pound
Liberian dollar
Libyan dinar
Luxembourg franc
Malawi kwacha
Maltese lira
Mexican peso
Moroccan dirham
New Zealand dollar
North Korean won
Norwegian krone
Omani rial
Pakistani rupee
Portuguese escudo
Qatari riyal
Rwanda franc
Seychelles rupee
Singapore dollar
South Korean won
Spanish peseta
Swedish krona
Swiss franc
Syrian pound
Taiwan dollar
Tanzanian shilling
Tunisian dinar
Turkish lira
Tuvalu dollar
Ugandan shilling
US Dollar
Yemeni rial
Zambian kwacha