Money has been around in one form or another since the time of Pharaohs. Middle Eastern moneychangers were the first currency traders who exchanged coins from one culture to another. However, during the middle ages, the need for another form of currency besides coins emerged as the method of choice. The Babylonians are credited with the first use of paper bills and receipts. These paper bills represented transferable third-party payments of funds, making foreign currency exchange trading (also referred to as or FX) much easier for merchants and traders.
From the infantile stages of during the Middle Ages to WWI, the Forex markets were relatively stable and without much speculative activity. After WWI, the Forex markets became very volatile and speculative activity increased tenfold.
From 1931 until 1973, the Forex market went through a series of changes – many of which have paved the way for the road ahead. The Forex market, as we know it today, originated in 1973.
A Transitional Era :
The first major transformation, the Bretton Woods Accord, took place toward the end of World War II. The United States, Great Britain and France met at the United Nations Monetary and Financial Conference in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire to design a new global economic order. The location was chosen because, at the time, the U.S. was the only country unscathed by war; most of the major European countries were in shambles.
The Bretton Woods Accord was established to create a stable environment by which global economies could restore themselves. The Bretton Woods Accord established the pegging of currencies and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in hopes of stabilizing the global economic situation.
Up until WWII, Great Britain ‘s currency, the Great British Pound, was the major currency by which most currencies were compared. This changed when the Nazi campaign against Britain included a major counterfeiting effort against its currency. In fact, WWII vaulted the U.S. dollar from a failed currency after the stock market crash of 1929 to a benchmark currency by which most other international currencies were compared.