Understanding Currencies: Which Are The Best?

Understanding Currencies: Which Are The Best?
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Point Editorial

A “currency” is an acceptable form of payment for settling debts or making transactions, and most countries have their own. The United Nations currently recognizes a total of 180 different currencies around the world. 

Read on to learn more about what currencies are, the most used currencies worldwide, and how they’ve evolved.

Understanding currencies

Legal tender, or "circulating currencies," refers to the money exchanged daily for market commerce. Of the 180 legal tenders recognized by the UN, only 130 are “pegged.” This means that they have fiscal authority worldwide, with the value of other, lesser currencies being determined in relation to a pegged currencies’ value. 

Currencies can also be virtual, private, or alternative. Alternative, or “complementary currencies,” are exclusive. They’re only issued and used by specific businesses or economic sectors, or found in certain geographic regions. Bartering and lending money are also alternative currencies since they don't go through a banking institution.  

List of currencies

Investing in the foreign currency exchange market can be a great way for individuals to diversify their portfolios and generate additional profit. 

Both the U.S. Dollar and the Euro are “pegged” currencies. They’re the most widely recognized and preferred currencies because both currencies are associated with the globe’s biggest economies. 

Apart from the U.S., the U.S. dollar is widely accepted in Mexico, the Cayman Islands, Jamaica, several other Caribbean islands, and popular U.S. retirement destinations like Belize and Panama.

Smaller nations like El Salvador, Panama, Ecuador, and Zimbabwe use the American Dollar, while the Euro is the sole currency of 19 of the 28 nations in the European Union (EU), alongside both the Vatican City and Monaco. Countries like Germany and the Netherlands converted quite recently from their own currency. 

The Euro isn’t used in Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Hungary, Poland, Romania, or Sweden. Even before Brexit, the United Kingdom didn’t use the Euro, instead keeping the pound. (The pound symbol and the euro symbol are quite similar.) Several other European countries that aren’t part of the EU, like Norway and Switzerland, also have their own currencies. 

The nine most tradable currencies as of 2021 are the U.S. Dollar, the European Euro, the Japanese Yen, the British Pound, the Swiss Franc, the Canadian Dollar, the Australian Dollar, the New Zealand Dollar, and the South African Rand. 

These nine currencies are also known as reserve currencies, meaning they’re used for payment outside of their country of origin. This is primarily because these currencies remain quite stable and help drive successful, influential markets. 

See the table below for more information.

Currency Abbreviation Central Bank Currency symbol
U.S. Dollar USD The Federal Reserve $
Euro EUR European Central Bank
Japanese Yen JPY Bank of Japan ¥
British Pound (or Pound Sterling) GBP Bank of England, £
Swiss Franc CHF Swiss National Bank SFr.
Canadian Dollar CAD Bank of Canada $, Can$
Australian Dollar AUD Reserve Bank of Australia $, AUD$
New Zealand Dollar NZD Reserve Bank of New Zealand $, NZ$
South African Rand ZAR South Africa Reserve Bank R

Cryptocurrencies

The world is quickly changing, and money isn’t exempt from this evolution. Thanks to the rise of technology and digitization of many aspects of daily life, cryptocurrencies have become increasingly popular over the last few years. 

Cryptocurrency, or “crypto,” is an amalgamation of online data that functions as an exchangeable asset. Cryptocurrency is completely unregulated. 

Each cryptocurrency has a unique digital signature allowing purchasers to confirm whether a transaction is valid and keep them safe from interest thieves. 

The table below outlines the SIX most prominent cryptocurrencies on the market today.

Crypto Type Abbreviation Price Notable Aspects
Bitcoin BTC $62,000 for 1 Bitcoin The original cryptocurrency. Transactions or ledgers are verified by solving a puzzle to increase safety of funds.
Ethereum ETH Approximately $4,400 for 1 ETH Second to Bitcoin, ETH has “smart contracts.” The agreement made between the buyer and the seller of the cryptocurrency is directly inserted into the currency’s digital software. This information is recorded to help maintain secure transactions as well as tracking and verifying online activity.
Binance Coin BNB Over $530 for 1 BNB Launched in 2017, BNB can be used for trading and other daily ventures like booking travel. Can also be exchanged for other cryptocurrencies.
Tether USDT $1.01 for 1 USDT Backed by traditional currencies including the U.S. Dollar and the Euro. USDT is far less volatile than others.
Cardano ADA $2.01 for 1 ADA No transaction verification required. Has smart contracts embedded in its code.
Solana SOL $201.91 for 1 SOL Also known for using “smart contracts,” and presenting a faster, easier network for users to navigate. Solana is at the forefront when it comes to DApp creation too. DApps are digital programs that are designed to help protect one’s privacy.

Exchange rates

The exchange rate determines how much money you receive in return for your dollars, euros, or yen when converting them to a different currency.

Remember that exchange rates are vulnerable to fluctuation. Many factors influence conversion rates, including internal difficulties like inflation, deflation, and recessions. Adjusting interest rates of currencies and third-party aid from the central banks, like issuing more or less money, can help correct these problems. 

Point's contributions

Exchanging currency allows people to participate in the economy. Investing, opening your own business, or using banking cards to make purchases all allow you to do this. 

Using the right currency is important to get the most bang for your buck, which applies to banking cards. 

Now, allow us to introduce PointCard

Engineered as a transparent, easy-to-use alternative payment card, Point allows cardholders to exercise fiscal independence and spend their own money. Regardless of whether you’re looking to purchase cryptocurrency or exchange your money for an upcoming vacation, you’ll have the freedom to do as you please while receiving exclusive benefits

Point’s benefits include unlimited cash-back and bonus cash-back on subscriptions, food delivery, rideshare services, and coffee shop purchases. 

Alongside the extensive rewards program, Point comes with multiple measures designed to help you save and protect your wealth. Car rental and phone insurance, new purchase insurance, fraud protection with zero liability, and no interest rates are just a few of these features. 

You work hard to save your money, and Point works hard for you in return.

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