World Currency Quiz
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In economics, currency is a generally accepted medium of exchange. These are usually the coins and banknotes of a particular government, which comprise the physical aspects of a nation's money supply. The other part of a nation's money supply consists of bank deposits (sometimes called deposit money), ownership of which can be transferred by means of cheques, debit cards, or other forms of money transfer. Deposit money and currency are money in the sense that both are acceptable as a means of payment.
Currency use is based on the concept of lex monetae; that a sovereign state decides which currency it shall use. Currently, the International Organization for Standardization has introduced a three-letter system of codes (ISO 4217) to define currency (as opposed to simple names or currency signs), in order to remove the confusion that there are dozens of currencies called the dollar and many called the franc. Even the pound is used in nearly a dozen different countries, all, of course, with wildly differing values. In general, the three-letter code uses the ISO 3166-1 country code for the first two letters and the first letter of the name of the currency (D for dollar, for instance) as the third letter.
The International Monetary Fund uses a variant system when referring to national currencies. In the foreign exchange market and international finance, a world currency, supranational currency, or global currency refers to a currency in which the vast majority of international transactions take place and which serves as the world's primary reserve currency. In March 2009, as a result of the global economic crisis, China pressed for urgent consideration of a global currency rights.
Before 1944, the world reference currency was the United Kingdom's pound sterling. The transition between pound sterling and United States dollar and its impact for central banks was described recently.
In the period following the Bretton Woods Conference of 1944, exchange rates around the world were pegged against the United States dollar, which could be exchanged for a fixed amount of gold. This reinforced the dominance of the US dollar as a global currency.
Since 1999, the dollar's dominance has begun to be eroded by the euro, which represents a larger size economy, and has the prospect of more countries adopting the euro as their national currency. The euro inherited the status of a major reserve currency from the German mark (DM), and since then its contribution to official reserves has risen as banks seek to diversify their reserves and trade in the eurozone continues to expand.
As with the dollar, some of the world's currencies are pegged against the euro. They are usually Eastern European currencies like the Bulgarian lev, plus several west African currencies like the Cape Verdean escudo and the CFA franc.
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