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Currency, in general, refers to any type of money generally accepted as a medium of exchange, usually defined by a government or international organization for commerce in a region. These are usually coins and banknotes of a particular government, which comprise the physical aspects of a nation's money supply. The other part of a nation's money supply consists of bank deposits, ownership of which can be deposited by means of checks, debit cards, or other forms of money transfer.
Money in the form of currency has existed in human civilizations from about 10,000 BC on. Usually coins of intrinsic value have been typical. However, nearly all modern money systems are based on fiat money. Usually, the government declares the fiat currency to be legal tender, making it illegal to not accept the currency as a means or repayment for all debts, public and private.
Identifying Currencies Edit
Currencies are generally specified by country or region and a denomination.
- The Dollar is not a currency, the term is used as a denomination (aka currency unit) in many currencies.
- The United States cent is not a currency but a denomination, it has the value of one-hundredth of a United States dollar. Similarly, a Euro cent is a hundredth of a Euro. The Cent is a denomination used by many currencies.
To help specify currencies, the International Standard Organization developed International Standard ISO 4217, "Codes for the representation of currencies and funds". The standard has codes for most currencies used since the creation of the standard in 1973. Some additional currency codes are used, see the ISO 4217 page.