Definition of fiat money
: money (such as paper currency) not convertible into coin or specie of equivalent value
First Known Use of fiat money
Financial Definition of FIAT MONEY
What It Is
How It Works
As valid currency solely by virtue of a government declaration, fiat money is not backed by any commodity, such as gold, but only by the faith of the bearer. In this respect, unlike currencies backed by gold or silver, fiat money does not have any intrinsic value (e.g., paper money and much coinage). The U.S. dollar is an example of fiat money.
Why It Matters
Fiat money allows the declaring government to employ virtually any material, such as paper (which is lightweight and convenient for carrying), as a medium of exchange. However, since the value of fiat money lies solely in the faith of those using it, its value can be easily diminished and result in rapid inflation.
Learn More about fiat money
Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about fiat money
Seen and Heard
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