Use our currency converter to convert over 190 currencies and 4 metals.
What is Currency?
Currency is a universal medium of exchange for goods and services in an economy, and it is believed to have been used as such dating back at least 3,000 years. Before this, it is assumed that bartering, which is the exchange of goods and services without the use of money, was likely used. Throughout history, currency has taken many different forms. Some examples include coins, barley, gold, silver, squirrel pelts, 8-ton carved limestone rocks, salt, knives, cowrie shells, stamps, potato mashers, peppercorn, tea bricks, and cheese.
Important Key Terms
Below is a short list of some of the important terms pertinent to foreign currency exchange.
Exchange Rate—The value of one currency expressed in terms of another.
Forex—The foreign exchange market (forex) is a global, decentralized, over-the-counter market for the trading of currencies and is the largest market in the world (followed by the credit market). This market is a necessity because one unit of currency very rarely equals exactly one unit of another currency. The forex is able to facilitate the receipt or payment of units of currency that are equal in value.
Bid Price—The price that a buyer is willing to pay for a unit of currency.
Ask Price—The price that a seller is willing to accept for a unit of currency.
Currency Pair—A quote of the relative value of one currency unit against another currency unit. The first currency in a currency pair is called the base currency while the second is called the quote currency.
Interbank (bank-to-bank) Rate—This is the wholesale exchange rate that banks use between themselves.
Major Currencies—This refers to a short list of the most traded currencies, which generally stays the same year-to-year. Most recently, this includes the U.S. dollar (USD), Euro (EUR), Japanese yen (JPY), British pound (GBP), Australian dollar (AUD), Canadian dollar (CAD), and the Swiss franc (CHF). The USD in a currency pair with any of the others is known as a major currency pair.
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