The euro is the official currency in the euro area also known as the eurozone. The new currency was planned during the 1990s, created in 1999, and first showed up in physical form in 2002.
Today, the euro is the official method of payment in 19 of the 28 European Union (EU) member states and 6 micro states in Europe. It’s the European Central Bank (ECB) and the central banks of the countries using the euro who control and print the currency.
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Where is the Euro Used?
In Europe, the eurozone is a so called currency union or a monetary union. In fact, the eurozone is at the moment the biggest and most well-known currency union in the world, covering more than 340 million people. You can read more about currency unions and how they operate in the section we call currencies.
At the moment only 9 countries in the European Union have decided not to join the eurozone. The countries that are not a part of the eurozone are Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. You can read more about these currencies and many more if you go to currencies and click on one of the detailed descriptions of the world’s leading currencies.
Note that Kosovo and Montenegro are using the euro under unique circumstances. All other microstates have monetary agreements with the European Union while Kosovo and Montenegro have adopted the currency without one.
Denominations and Abbreviations
The euro exists in both coins and bills and 1 euro is divided into 100 cents. Currently, the following coin denominations are available in all of the eurozone:
One unique aspect with the euro is that all the bills in the area look the same with beautiful windows on the front and bridges from the region on the back. However, all the coins are country specific with special prints that represent the country in which it is used.
Just like all other currencies, the euro has one official abbreviation and one ISO 4217 code (international currency code). Instead of having a shorter version of its name as an abbreviation, the euro has its own sign: € and the ISO code is EUR.
The History and Influence of the Euro
Political leaders in Europe started planning the introduction of a new communal currency back in the early 1990s. The first official step towards a monetary union was taken when the European Union was created in 1993. Two years later in 1995, the name for the new currency was changed from ecu to euro and the decision was taken to introduce the currency on January 1, 1999.
In 1999, when the currency was first launched it only existed in digital form and as traveler’s checks. It would take another three years before the currency was launched with physical denominations in 2002.
To be eligible for the eurozone a country needs to meet several very strict economic and social demands and guidelines. When the euro was first introduced only the following 11 countries were included: Belgium, Finland, France, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Germany, and Austria. Greece was the 12th country who joined in 2001 just before the currency was launched.
Since then new countries get accepted every now and again when they meet the demands of the eurozone. There is a waiting list of countries waiting to be cleared and accepted for the eurozone.
Note that the requirements for the eurozone are much tougher than the requirements to join the European Union.
The Euro’s Role in Today’s Society
The European currency is one of the biggest currencies in the world based on the total amount of users (citizens in member states) as well the total amount of money printed. Since the currency was created a total of 1,109,000,000,000 EUR has been printed. A number that is close to, but still considerably higher than the second largest currency, the American dollar.
In addition to these impressive numbers, the euro is also one of the most stable and influential currencies on our planet. Because of this stability, many of the world’s currencies are pegged to the euro. When a currency gets pegged to another currency, the bigger and more prevalent currency will act as a stabilizer and a controlling force of the smaller one. For example, the Danish krona is a fixed currency which means that its price is pegged to the euro exchange rate. The Swedish krona, on the other hand, is a floating currency meaning that its exchange rate is based on the market.
Forex Trading – Buy and Sell the Euro
Being one of the leading currencies in the world comes with a lot of responsibilities but also quite a few perks. Thanks to its stable nature, the euro has become one of the most traded currencies on the foreign exchange market (forex). The forex market is the most lucrative market in the world with a daily turnover of close to 2 thousand million dollars.
Last year the most traded currency pair was EUR/USD and between 2014 and 2016, the euro also ended up being the second most traded currency after the American dollar. Other popular currency pairs to buy the euro with are EUR/GBP, EUR/CAD, and EUR/JPY.
Using a Euro Converter
In order to trade with currencies, you need to convert the euro exchange rate to the exchange rate you’re buying it with. To do this you need to use a currency converter and we highly recommend that you use the one offered here on BullMarketz.com. Our euro converter is leading in the industry and can be used for currency trading, converting the euro while traveling, or for any other situation where you need to check the exchange rate euro today.
At the time this article was written the currency exchange rate between EUR and USD is: 1 EUR = 1,1738 USD and 1 USD = 0.8519. This number is constantly changing so make sure that you always use a currency converter to check the euro rate today.
Euro Currency Pairs
There are two currency pairs that play a very important role for the euro but also for the rest of the world. These currencies have a relationship that is important to millions of tourists and travelers every year but more importantly for the billion-dollar-a-day forex industry.
EUR/USD – The two leading currencies in the world obviously have a close relationship with each other. You could call them the world economy’s super couple. These two currencies will be important to all of us for a very long time, whether you’re a private person, investor, banker, or a country’s government.
EUR/GBP – As the two leading currencies in Europe, the euro and British pound have a unique connection and a rivalry. The exchange rate between the two currencies has the ability to impact both Europe and the rest of the world’s economy.