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The Forex Center

See also: Major Currencies - Exchange Systems - US Federal Reserve - G7 Central Banks - Forex Spot Market - Forex Forward Market - Forex Futures Market - Currency Options

Foreign Exchange - Historical Perspective

Currency trading has a long history and can be traced back to the ancient Middle East and Middle Ages when foreign exchange started to take shape after the international merchant bankers devised bills of exchange, which were
transferable third-party payments that allowed flexibility and growth in foreign exchange dealings.

The modern foreign exchange market, characterized by periods of increased volatility and relative stability, developed in the twentieth century. By the mid-1930s London became to be the leading center for foreign exchange and the British pound served as the currency to trade and to keep as a reserve currency. Because in former times currencies were traded on telex machines, or cable, the pound was given the nickname “cable”.

In 1930, the Bank for International Settlements was established in Basel, Switzerland, to oversee the financial efforts of the newly independent countries which emerged after the World War I, and to provide monetary relief to countries experiencing
temporary balance of payments difficulties. After the World War II, when the British economy had been destroyed and the
United States was the only country unscarred by war, the US dollar became the prominent currency of the entire world. Nowadays, most currencies around the world are generally quoted against the U.S. dollar.


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