Each country has their own distinctive currency with a name given to it. Different names came to be given to the currencies such as Dinar, Lira, Franc, Mark, Krone, Pound, Peso, Ruble, Rial and Rupee. Some countries had the same name for their currencies as, for instance, the United States, Australia, Canada, Singapore, Malaysia and Zimbabwe. In recent times, the European Union adopted a common currency for their member countries, namely Euro. International trade required that the trading partners had to exchange goods and services with their respective currencies. This required that the exchange rate between these two currencies be fixed which was mostly done by the central banks and national governments. Both the national governments and central banks were also selling and purchasing currencies to facilitate trade.
The demand for a particular currency increased when its exports increased. This led to an increase in the value of that currency. However, with liberalization of trade, currency became floating with its rates determined by the market factors of demand and supply. The currency market emerged where currency began to be traded as a commodity. Increasingly speculators moved in the form of currency traders and money managers. Very soon the bulk of currency trading became speculative. The exchange rate began to be also influenced by speculation in currencies.
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By mid 13h century China introduced paper money making it the first country to do so. It was Sweden that first introduced paper money in Europe as early as in 1661. Sweden had a copper based coin system which turned out to be rather too cumbersome when goods of high value had to be traded. It was not manageable when the transactions were bigger. Paper currency was light in weight and rather easily carried around. Initially the government backed the paper currency as it did not have intrinsic value as did coins, by backing the paper money with gold standard. This remained so till about 1990. But soon enough currencies were de-linked from the gold standard. With this, currency soon adopted the floating rate with the market determining its value.
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