The currency of money you use can in a country change with time. The history, cultural significance, and international market can affect the duration a country keeps its currency. In this quiz, we will go through some of the more unknown regions and facts about the money you might not know. This quiz is free, so you don’t need to worry about spending money on this. See how many you get after this quiz.
One of the most easily recognizable currencies in the world is the British Sterling Pound. Known by the symbol £, the British Pound is the oldest currency in the world that is still in use. Their origins are traced back to Ancient Rome. The Latin word “poundus” means “weight”. In 928 AD, the first King of England (Athelstan), after defeating the Viking invaders and consolidating Britain, made the Pound Sterling the official national currency of Britain. Back then, a pound was worth a pound (the measurement) of silver. Centuries later in 1694, King William III created the Bank of England to fund his ongoing war with France.
In the 16th century, a new coin was added to the pound. The shilling coin was valued at 12 pence or 1/20 of a pound shilling. In its earliest conception, it was called testoons. These coins would mark the historic decision to have a portrait of the reigning monarch on one side of the coin. Hence, the Italian word “testone” (which means headpiece) was used to name this coin. The shilling was continuously reduced in quality during the reign of Henry VIII and Edward VI to try and generate more funds for their war efforts. However, during the reign of Elizabeth 1st, this was considered a mistake and rectified. The shilling was slowly debased in the 1920s again, due to the rising price of silver worldwide. A similar reason was given for the Shillings’ debasing during WWII. In 1968, the new 5 pence coin was introduced. It had a similar weight and at that time held the same monetary value as the Shilling. Soon, the British Shilling was discontinued in 1991 due to the easier currency 5p and the 1971 decriminalization of the British and Irish Pound. Instead of a pound being worth 240 pence, it was now worth 100 pence as it is today.
Even though the British Shilling is no longer tender, other countries still use Shillings. Currently, five Eastern African countries (Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Somalia, and Somaliland) use shillings, though these are now different from the British Shilling. They originated during the Imperial rule. Only in the United Kingdom and on the South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands. Many other countries such as Falklands Islands are British territories that use their pound.
Whilst the British Pound has stayed in use for centuries, not all currencies have stood the test of time. In China, the currency has two names. The official name of the Chinese currency of money is the people’s renminbi (RMB). The currency Yuan (CNY) is the symbol and everyday name. The Renminbi was first issued by the Chinese Communist Party. The CCP was engaged in a civil war with the Chinese Nationalist Party. This civil war had been going on since the 1920s, only stopping in 1937-45 to deal with the rising threat from Japan. Once WWII was over, the civil war ensued. The issuing of the Renminbi was key to stabilizing the occupied areas of the CCP. This ensured their victory. After the Chinese Communist Party was defeated in 1949, the CCP streamlined the production of the Renminbi to tackle inflation and centralize the country’s finances under one currency. Until 2005, the value of the Renminbi was pegged (which means fixed in place) to the USD $ (United States Dollar), about 8.3 RMB per dollar. In 2005, the peg was lifted by the Chinese Communist Party to allow for a more flexible exchange rate.
The reason for economic changes can also be linked to new technological advances in banking.
An example of this can be seen through the creation of a stock market. A stock market, whether it is digital or a physical place, allows individuals or companies to buy and sell stocks or shares in publicly traded centers. The prices of these shares are based on supply and demand.
The current stock market can be dated back to the 16th Century. The first recorded stock market can be traded in Amsterdam, with the Dutch East India Company.
Another modern invention has been the Automated Teller Machine (better known as the ATM). The ATM allows an individual to withdraw and place money from either a bank, in a building, or on a street. It was created in the UK by John Shepherd-Barron. The first ATM was set up in 1967 and allowed customers to withdraw £10 at a time. Because of these machines, a British engineer, James Goodfellow, proposed the concept of a personal identification number (PIN) in 1970. This was to add security to one’s bank account.
Of course, banking is also different now because of online payment companies. These allow people to accept payment or buy things using an internet service. In 1998, one of the most popular internet-based payment companies was introduced. It was called PayPal. These made banking and tracking finances so easy. Today there are multiple online-based companies such as Apple Pay and Google Pay.