Currency Basics

What Is Money?

Without it, modern economies could not function

Money may make the world go around, as the song says. And most people in the world probably have handled money, many of them on a daily basis. But despite its familiarity, probably few people could tell you exactly what money is, or how it works.

In short, money can be anything that can serve as a

• store of value, which means people can save it and use it later—smoothing their purchases over time;

• unit of account, that is, provide a common base for prices; or

• medium of exchange, something that people can use to buy and sell from one another.

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