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Currencies

WHAT ARE CURRENCIES

Currency is a medium of exchange for goods and services. In short, it’s money, in the form of paper or coins, usually issued by a government and generally accepted at its face value as a method of payment.

Currency is the primary medium of exchange in the modern world, having long ago replaced bartering as a means of trading goods and services.

In the 21st century, a new form of currency has entered the vocabulary, the virtual currency. Virtual currencies such as bitcoins have no physical existence or government backing and are traded and stored in electronic form.

Currency Trading
The exchange rate is the current value of any currency in exchange for another currency. This rate fluctuates constantly in response to economic and political events.

Those fluctuations create the market for currency trading. The foreign exchange market where these trades are conducted is one of the world’s largest markets in sheer volume. All trades are in large volumes, with a standard minimum lot of 100,000. Most currency traders are professionals investing for themselves or for institutional clients including banks and large corporations.

The foreign exchange market has no physical address. Trading is entirely electronic and goes on 24 hours a day to accommodate traders in every time zone.

Currency Exchange
For the rest of us, currency trading is mostly done at an airport kiosk or a bank while traveling.

Consumer advocates say that travelers get the best value by exchanging cash at a bank or at an in-network ATM. Other options may have higher fees and poor exchange rates.

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