Take a minute to digest this fact: $4.4 trillion is traded per day in foreign exchange markets. That’s 16.5 times more than the trading volume of all the small markets of the world combined. While only two percent of foreign exchange transactions relate to real world goods and services, 98 percent are purely speculative transactions. These speculations are what trigger foreign exchange crises. Mexico, Thailand, South Korea, Russia, and Indonesia have all felt the effects of such crises over the last few decades. The situation has been especially devastating in Zimbabwe because of hyperinflation—think inflation on steroids. In July 2008, it took $66 billion Zimbabwe dollars to buy one US dollar in 2008.

We may be on an inevitable path toward a global currency. U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner is actually “quite open” to the idea. The biggest downfall to the introduction of a global currency would be the loss of independent monetary policy to regulate national economies. Both developed and developing nations may benefit, however.

To learn more about all of this, check out the infographic below presented by MoneyChoice.

future of money