The foreign exchange market (Forex, FX, or currency market) is a global decentralized or over-the-counter (OTC) market for the trading of currencies. This market determines the foreign exchange rate. It includes all aspects of buying, selling and exchanging currencies at current or determined prices. In terms of trading volume, it is by far the largest market in the world, followed by the Credit market.
The main participants in this market are the larger international banks. Financial centers around the world function as anchors of trading between a wide range of multiple types of buyers and sellers around the clock, with the exception of weekends. Since currencies are always traded in pairs, the foreign exchange market does not set a currency's absolute value but rather determines its relative value by setting the market price of one currency if paid for with another. Ex: US$1 is worth X CAD, or CHF, or JPY, etc.
The foreign exchange market works through financial institutions and operates on several levels. Behind the scenes, banks turn to a smaller number of financial firms known as "dealers", who are involved in large quantities of foreign exchange trading. Most foreign exchange dealers are banks, so this behind-the-scenes market is sometimes called the "interbank market" (although a few insurance companies and other kinds of financial firms are involved). Trades between foreign exchange dealers can be very large, involving hundreds of millions of dollars. Because of the sovereignty issue when involving two currencies, Forex has little (if any) supervisory entity regulating its actions.
The foreign exchange market assists international trade and investments by enabling currency conversion. For example, it permits a business in the United States to import goods from European Union member states, especially Eurozone members, and pay Euros, even though its income is in United States dollars. It also supports direct speculation and evaluation relative to the value of currencies and the carry trade speculation, based on the differential interest rate between two currencies.
Bitcoin. It’s one the biggest buzzwords in the financial technology industry right now, but also one of the least understood. With cryptocurrency back in the news again, now’s a better time than ever to delve into the weeds and learn more about how to invest. If you’re standing, sit down, because here’s a breakdown of everything you need to know before buying your first bitcoin — or deciding not to.
Bitcoin Basics: Why People Buy Cryptocurrency
You don’t have to understand bitcoin to realize that banks, businesses, the bold, and the brash are cashing in on cryptocurrency. In 2016, the price of a bitcoin was $710.09. On February 21, 2019, the exchange rate for a single bitcoin was $3,890. It doesn’t take an economics degree to know that the folks who invested in bitcoin a few years ago are now patting themselves on the back — but the good news is, it’s not too late to get in the game.
It may seem hard to believe that a digital currency could be worth thousands of dollars. After all, unlike physical currency like precious metals or printed money, bitcoin is just lines of code. So what makes bitcoin so valuable?
The worth of currency used to be stipulated by precious metals. From 1879 until 1933, for example, Americans could trade the federal government $20.67 for an ounce of gold. For the United States, that all changed at the height of the Great Depression when America faced mounting unemployment rates and spiraling deflation. In 1933, President Franklin D. Roosevelt decided to cut the United States’ ties to gold, effectively allowing the Federal Reserve to pump more money into the economy than the federal government had the gold to back.
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