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Fiat

Fiat currency, commonly referred to as “fiat,” is a type of currency that is issued by a government and declared to be legal tender for transactions within its jurisdiction. Unlike commodities like gold or silver, a fiat currency does not have intrinsic value; its value is essentially based on trust and the stability of the issuing government.

Characteristics:

  1. Government Issued: Fiat currencies are issued and regulated by the central banks of their respective countries.
  2. No Intrinsic Value: Unlike gold or silver, fiat money does not have value in and of itself. Its value is derived from the trust and confidence of the people who use it.
  3. Legal Tender: It is recognized by the government as the official medium of payment for goods and services.
  4. Not Backed by Physical Commodity: Unlike the gold standard, where banknotes could be exchanged for a specific amount of gold, fiat money is not backed by a physical commodity.

Advantages:

  1. Flexibility: Governments and central banks can adjust monetary policies (like interest rates) to manage inflation, unemployment, and economic growth.
  2. Stability: Generally, fiat currencies are stable and are less likely to experience wild fluctuations compared to commodities or cryptocurrencies.
  3. No Limitation: Since it’s not tied to a physical commodity, there’s no limit to the amount of fiat currency that can be produced.

Disadvantages:

  1. Inflation: Overproduction of fiat currency can lead to inflation, where the purchasing power of money decreases.
  2. Dependence on Government Stability: The value of fiat money can be affected by political instability or poor economic management.

Real-World Examples:

  1. US Dollar (USD): Issued by the United States and is one of the most widely used fiat currencies in the world.
  2. Euro (EUR): The official currency of the Eurozone, used by 19 of the 27 European Union (EU) member states.
  3. Japanese Yen (JPY), British Pound (GBP), Indian Rupee (INR): Other examples of major fiat currencies.

Fiat vs. Cryptocurrency: While fiat currency is government-issued and centralized, cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum operate on decentralized networks without a central authority. Cryptocurrencies are digital or virtual, whereas fiat currencies exist both in physical form (notes and coins) and digital form (bank balances).

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CryptoCurrencyUSDChange 1hChange 24hChange 7d
Bitcoin67,923 0.30 % 2.03 % 3.86 %
Litecoin85.82 0.47 % 0.82 % 4.36 %
XRP0.5306 0.15 % 0.44 % 2.70 %
Ethereum2,197.2 0.23 % 0.67 % 2.46 %
Dogecoin0.1548 0.37 % 0.09 % 7.69 %
Solana172.08 0.28 % 3.51 % 7.37 %
USDC1.000 0.10 % 0.02 % 0.08 %
Cardano0.2543 0.15 % 1.68 % 3.38 %
Tether0.9990 0.10 % 0.04 % 0.02 %
Binance Coin (Wormhole)222.47 0.38 % 4.71 % 3.08 %