Top Ten Traded Currencies of the World

Posted: September 26, 2013 in Facts

The following list contains information about the share of these currencies in daily trading activities in foreign exchange markets as well as some interesting facts about the central banks that issue them. Note that volume percentages for all currencies should add up to 200 percent, because each transaction involves two currencies.

If you add the shares of the top ten currencies, you see that their cumulative share is about 181 percent. Therefore, the rest of the currencies in the world have a share of 19 percent in daily currency trading.

1. The U.S. Dollar

Nearly 85 percent of the transactions in foreign exchange markets involve the dollar. Until the establishment of the Federal Reserve System in 1913, various currencies were issued in the U.S.

In the late 18th century and during the American Revolution, the Continental Congress printed its first paper money, known ascontinentals. But inflation was rapidly increasing and continentals were becoming worthless pretty quickly.

The First Bank of the United States established in 1791 was the first attempt to central banking, which was not well-received by a mostly agrarian electorate. When the bank’s 20-year charter expired in 1811, votes in Congress were not enough to renew it.

The Second Bank of the United States of 1816 had a similar story. The Free Banking Era (1836–1865) had state-chartered banks and unchartered “free banks,” issuing their own notes, redeemable in gold or specie. Following the financial panics of the late 19th and early 20th century, the American public was ready for a central bank. In 1913, President Woodrow Wilson signed the Federal Reserve Act into law.

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2. The Euro

Even though it was introduced in 1999, the euro became the second highest-traded currency in the world with a 39 percent share in daily transactions. Introducing a new common currency and a central bank that oversees this currency was not an easy task.

Imagine the German mark, the French franc, the Italian lira, and so on and how much organization would be required to get rid of them and replace them with the euro. Since the early 1960s, the central banks of the European Economic Community (EEC) had been trying to coordinate their monetary policies and promote price stability.

The Maastricht Treaty of 1992 put a long-contemplated idea on paper: a common currency. In 1998, the European Central Bank was established. The euro was introduced in 1999.

3. The Japanese Yen

With a share of over 19 percent of the daily currency transactions, the Yen takes the #3 spot. The history of the yen goes back to 1871 when it was adopted officially as the Japanese currency by Japan’s Meiji government. In 1882, the Bank of Japan was established under the Bank of Japan Act as the country’s central bank.

At the end of World War II, the Bank was reorganized in 1942 according to the new Bank of Japan Act. The Act of 1942 states the objectives of the Bank as regulating the currency as well as controlling and facilitating credit and finance to enhance the country’s general economic performance.

The Act of 1942 was amended several times after World War II and was completely revised in 1997 to reflect the modern principles of central banking: independence from fiscal authority and transparency.

4. The British Pound

The British pound has a share of almost 13 percent in daily currency trades. The official name of the currency is pound sterling. As one of the oldest central banks in the world, the Bank of England was founded in 1694 to act as the government’s banker and debt-manager.

It began issuing notes the same year, where notes had a few lines of engraved text, promising to pay a specified sum at the Bank’s premises with spaces for a handwritten date, number, signature, and the name of the payee. In 1734, the Bank moved to Threadneedle Street in London and is still located there today.

5. The Australian Dollar

This currency has over 7.6 percent share in daily currency transactions. Prior to 1911, private trading banks were issuing currency in Australia.

In 1911, legislation established the Commonwealth Bank of Australia. However, at that time the bank was just like a commercial bank and did not assume the responsibilities of a central bank. Then, the Australian Department of the Treasury was in charge of issuing notes. In 1924, theCommonwealth Bank Act was amended and the Bank was given control over the note issue. From this time until 1945, the Bank gradually evolved its central banking activities.

In 1959, part of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia was renamed as the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) to fulfill the functions of a central bank. The commercial banking functions were kept by the Commonwealth Bank of Australia.

6. The Swiss Franc

With over 6.4 percent of daily currency transactions, the Swiss franc takes the sixth spot. Until the mid-19th century, cantons (states or provinces) and other entities were producing their own currency. After the first Federal Constitution went into effect in 1848, the Federal Coinage Act was passed in 1850.

Between 1876 and 1901, three agreements were passed to ensure and facilitate the reciprocal conversion of banknotes without any charges. While several attempts were made to establish a central bank, either the motion didn’t pass in the parliament or, if it did, it was rejected by voters.

Finally, the Swiss National Bank was established after the introduction of the Federal Act on the Swiss National Bank in 1905. In 1910, the Swiss National Bank received its monopoly position in issuing money.

7. The Canadian Dollar

As the #7 currency in the world, the Canadian dollar has 5.3 percent share in daily currency transactions in the world. Until the early 19th century, a number of different currencies, British, French, and local currencies, were used in the Canadian provinces. In the years leading up to the Confederation, most of the country was organized as small rural settlements spread over a large area, which made branch banking a practical approach.

During the 18th and early 19th century, the branch banking worked well. Then, bank runs reduced confidence in the system, and the idea that government should issue currency started gaining support. In 1871, the Dominion government passed the Uniform Currency Act.

The establishment of a central bank took a little more. The Great Depression of the early 1930s convinced policy makers to establish a central bank. In March 1935, the Bank of Canada opened its doors as a privately owned institution.

8. The Hong Kong Dollar

The Hong Kong dollar’s share in daily transactions is about 2.4 percent. When the British occupied Hong Kong and established a free trading port in 1841, there was no local currency in circulation. Various foreign currencies, including Spanish, Mexican, and other silver dollars; the Indian rupee; and Chinese currencies were used as a medium of exchange.

During the early years of the colony, the Hong Kong government also tried to promote the use of pound sterling. Between 1845 and 1859, three note-issuing banks were introduced. Finally, in 1863 the Hong Kong government declared silver (Hong Kong) dollars to be the legal tender. In 1898, China leased Hong Kong to Britain for 99 years. In 1997, Hong Kong became a Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China.

The Hong Kong dollar’s share in daily transactions is about 2.4 percent. When the British occupied Hong Kong and established a free trading port in 1841, there was no local currency in circulation. Various foreign currencies, including Spanish, Mexican, and other silver dollars; the Indian rupee; and Chinese currencies were used as a medium of exchange.

During the early years of the colony, the Hong Kong government also tried to promote the use of pound sterling. Between 1845 and 1859, three note-issuing banks were introduced. Finally, in 1863 the Hong Kong government declared silver (Hong Kong) dollars to be the legal tender. In 1898, China leased Hong Kong to Britain for 99 years. In 1997, Hong Kong became a Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China.

9. The Swedish Krona

The Swedish Krona has a 2.2 percent share in daily foreign exchange transactions and has been the currency of Sweden since 1873. But minting of the first Swedish coins goes back to the 10th century.

In the mid-17th century, Stockholms Banco became Sweden’s first bank. While the bank issued notes, it was a private bank under strong state regulation. Even though the bank was closed due to the general public’s loss of confidence at one point, in 1668 it was reestablished by the Swedish parliament as the Bank of the Estates of the Realm.

Even though inflation was increasing during the 18th century and promoting price stability became important, it took some time to establish the central bank. In 1867, the Bank of the Estates of the Realm changed its name to Sveriges Riksbank and became Sweden’s central bank. Later in 1897, Sveriges Riksbank was granted a monopoly on issuing banknotes.

10. The New Zealand Dollar

With 1.6 percent share in daily currency transactions, the New Zealand dollar takes the #10 spot in the countdown. Even though Europeans became aware of the islands known today as New Zealand back in 17th century, New Zealand didn’t become a British colony until the mid-19th century.

And, with the Europeans, arrived paper money. During the 1800s, the gold, silver, and bronze British coins were circulating in New Zealand alongside the existing foreign coins (for example, Australian). The national currency was introduced in 1934 and, shortly after, the Reserve Bank of New Zealand (the country’s central bank) was created.

As of 1935, New Zealand became the last of the self-governing dominions of the British Commonwealth to introduce its own coinage.

Samsung is going to announce the Galaxy S IV on March 14 at an event in New York, but there is a lot trickling out already. We’re hearing that Samsung might be prepping two variants of the next flagship, one with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 processor and the other with the homegrown Exynos 5 octa.

The variants, reportedly include a Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 in the US or Exynos 5 Octa for areas where LTE networks are not present and is based on a note to investors from a Teipei based branch of JPMorgan. We’ve already been hearing that Samsung might be readying variants of their next flagship based on processors, but this definitely adds to the previous rumours.

The Exynos 5 Octa is a an 8 core processor from Samsung, running 1.8 GHz quad-core ARM Cortex-A15 and 1.2 GHz quad-core ARM Cortex-A7 along with Tricore PoverVR GPU. The Snapdragon 600 on the other hand runs a quad-core Krait 300 CPU clocking at 1.9 GHz along with the Adreno 320 GPU. Qualcomm claims that the new SoC delivers 40% better performance than the existing S4 Pro chips.

If Samsung is going to be dividing the Galaxy S IV based on LTE and non-LTE based countires, it would be interesting to see which variant Samsung would launch in India, where we expect LTE connectivity to be going mainstream quite soon. Would we get the non LTE version with the octa core processor or the quad core version with the Snapdragon 600?

Wait and watch,,

Source : Think Digit

The Redmond, Washington-based software giant is offering a deep discount on Windows 8 for a few months, selling a copy priced at Rs 11,999 for Rs 1,999. From a computer that runs Windows XP, Vista or Windows 7 – pirated or otherwise – users can download a licensed copy of Windows 8 Pro, the version with all the bells and whistles, for an 83% discount. No questions asked.

Microsoft offering Windows 8 for Rs 1,999

The offer is valid till January 31, 2013. An upgrade DVD costs Rs 3,499 and if you bought a Windows 7 computer after June 2012, an upgrade is yours for Rs 699.

Microsoft is silent on whether this is a security loophole or a deliberate strategy. Company officials declined comment. Raju PP, editor of tech blog Techpp.com, who installed Windows 8 on a non-activated Windows 7 installation by paying Rs 1,999, said: “I have strong reasons to believe that this was a deliberate move to push up initial sales. Microsoft is big and wise enough to do a basic check for legitimacy of Windows 7 installation. They could have done a background check of the installation or could have asked for the Windows 7 license key. But they didn’t”.

For years, the hordes of users who used pirated copies of the flagship Windows OS represented a tricky knot for software giant Microsoft. They were potentially robbing the company of billions of dollars in revenue. And yet, cracking down would have made them turn to free, open-source platforms.

This would have diluted the immense network effect that benefits Microsoft and helps preserve its market dominance. So, Microsoft mostly cracked down on piracy among companies and enterprise users and left personal users alone.

That seems to be changing as the company unveiled Windows 8, a touchscreen-optimised OS that marks a radical departure in its user interface to usher in a tile-based system common to personal computers, tablets and mobile devices. With these upgrade offers, within four days of its launch, 4 million licences of Windows 8 have been bought and downloaded globally.

The deep discount is likely to find many takers among users in emerging economies who run pirated versions of the OS. “They are obviously trying to lure pirated users, which is a big market. Not many enterprises plan to move to Windows 8 as they are still in the process of moving from Windows XP to Windows 7. Microsoft is trying to tap into the big market of pirated Windows, which is much bigger than their enterprise market,” said Vishal Tripathi, principal research analyst, Gartner.

As per Netmarkershare.com, Windows currently has over 80% market share worldwide in desktop OS. The main reason for piracy is the high price of a legitimate Windows copy. A genuine Windows 7 OS costs at least 5,000 (Home Basic) even today, while a pirated copy of Windows 7 Ultimate, legally priced at 11,488, can be bought for a few hundred rupees in the grey market. There has been great consumer interest in Windows 8, which clocked 16 million downloads for preview.

Apple has dished out 20 million Swiss francs ($21 million, 17 million euros) to compensate Swiss national rail operator SBB for using its famous clock without permission, a Swiss daily reported Saturday.

Apple shells out $21 million for iconic clock design: Report

The company agreed in October to pay the lump sum so it could continue using SBB’s Swiss-designed station clock face on its iPads and iPhones, the Tages-Anzeiger daily reported on its website, quoting several unnamed sources.

When contacted by AFP, SBB refused Saturday to confirm the report.

The rail operator’s spokeswoman Patricia Claivaz however told AFP in September SBB was preparing to meet with Apple to discuss why the company had begun using the famous clock on one of its new applications for iOS 6 without authorisation.

She said at the time that SBB was more interested in bringing clarity to where and how Apple could use the logo than in raking in cash.

“We’re rather proud that a brand as important as Apple is using our design,” she said in September.

The clock was designed in 1944 by Swiss engineer Hans Hilfiker and remains the property of SBB. It is still used in SBB’s stations.

Apple loses name battle to iFone

Posted: November 6, 2012 in iPhone, Mobiles
Tags: , ,

A Mexican telecommunications firm named iFone has declared victory in a trademark battle with Apple’s iPhone, exposing the US company to a potential compensation payment.

The Mexican firm said in a statement that a court denied Apple’s bid to protect the iPhonename in a case that began in 2009, when iFone sued the California-based company because the similar-sounding names caused confusion.

Apple introduced the iPhone to the Mexican market in 2007, four years after the Mexican telecom services and systems company says it registered the name iFone.

“It is the third time that Apple loses and this demonstrates the legal truth: iFone is within its full right to use its brand,” the statement said.

The lawyer for iFone, Eduardo Gallart, was quoted as saying in Milenio newspaper on Saturday that Apple will have to compensate the Mexican company for the use of the iPhone name.

An amount has not been decided but Gallart said the law sets a floor rate of 40 percent of the sale price of a service that is found to have violated the rules.

A message to Apple’s media relations office was not returned.

Abiding by the ruling of a UK court, Apple has posted a notice on its website related to its feud with arch rival Samsung over the designs of their tablets. While Apple did not tender an apology , it did say the court has ruled that Samsung tablets do not violate its design patents.

At the bottom of the home page of its website, Apple UK currently has the following statement:

“On 25 October 2012, Apple Inc published a statement on its UK website in relation to Samsung’s Galaxy tablet computers. That statement was inaccurate and did not comply with the order of the Court of Appeal of England and Wales. The correct statement is at Samsung/Apple UK judgement.”

The hyperlink in this message led to another page on Apple UK’s website, where the company had stated the following:

“On 9 July 2012 the High Court of Justice of England and Wales ruled that Samsung Electronic (UK) Limited’s Galaxy Tablet Computers, namely the Galaxy Tab 10.1, Tab 8.9 and Tab 7.7 do not infringe Apple’s Community registered design No. 0000181607-0001. A copy of the full judgment of the High Court is available from http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/Patents/2012/1882.html.

That Judgment has effect throughout the European Union and was upheld by the Court of Appeal of England and Wales on 18 October 2012. A copy of the Court of Appeal’s judgment is available from http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWCA/Civ/2012/1339.html. There is no injunction in respect of the Community registered design in force anywhere in Europe.”

After the first time Apple published the apology, South Korea’s Samsung argued that Apple’s statement, which made potentially confusing references to German and US court decisions as well as the British ruling, was “inaccurate and misleading”. Subsequently, Apple was ordered to again publish an apology on its website at a prominent place on Arial font, size 14.

Source: TOI

The government has drawn a blueprint for developing the next generation of supercomputers that could be 61 times faster than existing machines.

Telecom and IT minister Kapil Sibal is understood to have written to Prime MinisterManmohan Singh sharing the roadmap to develop “petaflop and exaflop range of supercomputers” at an estimated cost of Rs 4,700 crore over 5 years.

“In his (Sibal) letter, he has said that C-DAC has developed a proposal with a roadmap to develop a petaflop and exaflop range of supercomputers in the country with an outlay of Rs 4,700 crore,” a government official said.

A petaflop is a measure of a computer s processing speed and can be expressed as a thousand trillion floating point operations per second. Exaflop is one quintillion computer operations per second. Simply put, one exaflop is thousand times faster than one petaflop.

The fastest supercomputer in the world, Sequoia, has registered a top computing speed of 16.32 petaflops, which is equivalent of computing of power from over 7.8 lakhs high-end laptops put together.

If the Indian government approves building exaflop supercomputers, these will be at least 61 times faster than Sequoia, officials said.

India’s top supercomputer at present ranks 58th globally in terms of computing speed.

Sibal has cited the past record of Center for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC) which was set up in 1987 by then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi after technologically advanced nations denied supply of supercomputer to India in mid-1980s.

“The Minister has written that C-DAC developed first supercomputers in the country, the Param series. Presently Param Yuva with 54 teraflop computing power is serving many researchers through Garuda Computing Grid,” the official said.

Sibal has proposed that Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DEITY) should be given tasks to coordinate overall supercomputing activities in the country as it has been done in the past.

The proposal made in the letter says that DEITY should be given tasks to set up a National Apex Committee to oversee the implementation of the proposed Supercomputing Mission and C- DAC should establish peta and exascale supercomputing facilities and development activities.