What Is Fiat Money?

Patrick Curtis

Reviewed by

Patrick Curtis WSO Editorial Board

Expertise: Investment Banking | Private Equity

Fiat money is any form of currency that is in itself worthless, but because it has the backing of a government is deemed to have value. For example, the paper used to print US dollars is essentially worthless, but the dollar bill is worth money. Almost all printed currency is fiat money.

If an asset such as gold or silver backs the currency, then it actually has value as it is a contract, but fiat money itself is based purely on the faith that the government will support the currency bills.

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Patrick Curtis

Patrick Curtis is a member of WSO Editorial Board which helps ensure the accuracy of content across top articles on Wall Street Oasis. He has experience in investment banking at Rothschild and private equity at Tailwind Capital along with an MBA from the Wharton School of Business. He is also the founder and current CEO of Wall Street Oasis. This content was originally created by member WallStreetOasis.com and has evolved with the help of our mentors.