Archive for the ‘Interesting Article’ Category

A Brief History of the Knights Templar

Posted on: June 9th, 2017 by c4c-admin-account No Comments

And London’s First bank…

Our knowledge of currency stems from the invention of trade between merchants. This was often trade between workmen, trading their services, goods or cattle.  However, the concept behind storing currency to those who could be trusted with others money was one that came about in the 1100’s. It was established by a group of men called the Knights Templar.

 

Who are the Knights Templar?

These groups of men were thought to be warrior monks that were highly faithful to their religion and the holy war and fancied themselves as loyal to their hierarchy. Their home was situation on Fleet Street in London, a place called Temple Church. This church still exists today and is not just known as the residency of the Knights Templar, but home to London’s first bank.

 The Knights Templar

Why and how did they come to create London’s first bank?

The thought behind this idea came from the pilgrimage that the Knights were dedicated to: a voyage that took them thousands of miles from London to Jerusalem. They needed somewhere to store and exchange their money safely and trustfully and avoid taking large sums of cash from one end of Europe to the other. The idea was that they could store their money in London and withdraw it in Jerusalem, saving them from being burgled when carrying large amounts of cash and still being able to afford food ad resources for their journey.

Temple Church

How did it work?

Though not the same of banks today, which are typically ran by the government, these banks were thought to be ran privately, owned by the Pope and connected through Kings and Queens across Europe. This allowed some sense of security for the Knights. However, this was not just a typical exchange and transfer of money for its users, the bank provided financial services. The Templars acted as brokers, providing Kings and Queens with land through the means of loans and yearly payments. It is known that the Crown Jewels were kept there as a security loan for payments of small islands across Europe, similar to the pawn-brokers of today, although on a much larger scale (I have a feeling that the Queen has never popped down to her local pawn shop with the Crown Jewels for a house in the countryside!) Though this did not last forever and eventually the European order of this bank and others broke down by the 1300’s after the European Christians lost control of Jerusalem.

 

New Ventures

However, all is not lost. Though the Templar disbanded, an Italian merchant placed in Lyon, France, decided to buy and sell debt, becoming very rich. While the other merchants around him were laboring, trading their goods, this Italian merchant simply sat and waited for money to come to him. He would sell something called a ‘bill of exchange’ that could be recognised, not as money, but as a means of exchange for money in the Italian province of Florence – Many miles away from the small town in France where he resided. It eventually become a large network and as this network of bankers grew, they would meet every year at fairs in places such as Lyon to go through their books and settle any unwanted debts. From this model comes the credit card, a system that allows a simple piece of paper (or in today’s technology, a chip and pin card) to exchange credit for goods: a radical new system that was worth investing in.

Bill of Exchange

Hierarchy

This system did not come without mistrust and a band of hierarchy that became corrupt with power. Much like events we saw on Wall Street in the 80’s, banks and organisations alike across the world would come together in an effort to avoid paying tax and creating private money between the hierarchies that were untouchable by the government. The regulations of these banks have been tested time over by governments across the world, yet it seems that those holding the most power (and coincidently, the most debt) will always prevail. Even back in the 1300’s the Templars saw their fate as one of torture by the King, who had outstanding debts he couldn’t pay off. Instead of simply working with these men to sought restoration, he used his hierarchy to have them tortured and burned to death in order to claim back what he believed to be his.

 

Great minds think alike

This may have been a great new way to share and exchange money but back in China, several centuries earlier; the Tang dynasty used a similar format called “feiquan”. This can be translated to ‘flying money’. It was a system that allowed merchants to deposit their profits into a central office and then withdraw it in cash in the capital.

Flying Money

Although this is a great piece of British and European history, we won’t let you go through the hassle of long voyages or trading cattle for a simple credit exchange! At Cash4Coins we exchange your foreign currency… for cash! We can’t accept your Crown Jewels, but give us a call today if you would like to know more about how we can help you.

 

 

 

 

A Tale of Greek Mythology

Posted on: May 6th, 2017 by c4c-admin-account No Comments

Plutus: The God of Wealth

The Greek God’s have managed to survive in our memory, language and box office films over the thousands of years of since their stories began. Most of you will have heard of the majority of them in the form of our most loved superheroes (and supervillans), such as, Zeus – God of the Sky, Poseidon – God of the Sea and Hades – God of the Underworld, to name but a few. However, have you ever heard of Plutus? Well, he is our God here at Cash4Coins. The God of Money! Or more precisely, ‘Wealth’.

 

Zues Posideon Hades

 

The Story of Plutus

The story tells us that Plutus was born to the son of Demeter, the Goddess of Agriculture and Liason, the son of Zeus. The tale goes, Plutus, the ‘grandson’ of Zeus was blinded by him so his deeds as the God of Wealth were unbiased. Along with being blinded, Plutus also couldn’t walk and so he arrived to his destinations by flight with the wings he possessed.

 

Plutus and Liason

 

Symbols

Plutus, who is usually depicted as male through the arts, was often sculpted as an infant or young boy holding on to the ‘Cornucopia’. The Cornucopia is a container shaped like the goats horn, usually flowing with an abundance of grains, fruits and flowers to represent being plentiful. One of the most well-known statues of Plutus is of sculpted as an infant in the arms of Eirene, the Goddess of Peace. It is thought that the reason behind the sculpture is because with ‘peace’ brings prosperity and, ultimately, wealth.

 

Baby Plutus

 

‘Plutus’ in the English Language

 

Plutomania

The excessive desire for wealth

Plutolatry

The worship of wealth

Plutocracy

One who rules by the virtue of wealth

Plutonomics

The study of wealth management

 

Mistaken Identities and Theories

Plutus is often mistaken for ‘Pluto’ who is the God of the Underworld. However, a more accurate name for this God is Hades. Although, Hades has become a common name for the underworld itself. Plutus actually has no relation to Pluto, aside from the fact his is the son of Zeus’s son, Liason and Zeus is Pluto’s brother alongside Poseidon.

 

So, whether you’re a ‘Plutomaniac’ or not, we would love to hear from you about your money exchanging needs. From foreign currency exchange to helpful advice on fundraising, we are here to help. Get in touch today to speak to our friendly team of experts.

 

Children in Need Fundraising Ideas

Posted on: May 6th, 2017 by c4c-admin-account No Comments

For one night in November, every year, the BBC becomes a place dedicated to charity. Helping children across the globe, Children in Need has become one of the best supported charities out there.

It draws in big name celebrities and is a whole lot of fun for those that watch it.

However, Children in Need, just like many of other charities, simply wouldn’t be able to function without donations. Which means that each and every year, people around the UK come up with great ways to raise money and help those who need it.

Want to get yourself nice and organised for the 2017 Children in Need? Why not check out some of the great ways you can raise money when the time comes?

Face your fears

Is there something that you are really terrified of? A great way to raise money is to face those fears. Get people to sponsor you to hold a spider, do a bungee jump or anything that is going to make you squirm. It is a sure fire way to get some support!

Go without tech

Are you the type of person who always has their phone in their hands? Bit of TV nut? Why not pledge to give up tech for a week during the Children in Need week? Not only is it a great fundraising tool, but it might actually teach you that you don’t need your beloved gadget in the first place!

Do something big

Want to really make an impact for charity? If you do, then perhaps it is time to try out something huge. Jump out of a plane, climb a mountain or run a marathon. These big pledges are a great way to bring money in and also give you the drive to try something that you wouldn’t otherwise!

Sell something

Do you have a hobby, talent or skill? Why not use this to raise money? You can bake cakes, paint pictures, even knit a blanket. Whatever you do, sell it for cash and you can soon see the money come in for charity.

Wear your PJs for a day

Just because it is a popular one, doesn’t mean it isn’t great. Don a onesie, or your favourite PJs for the day and raise some money. Or better yet, get your whole office, school or family to do the same. Not only will you raise money, but you will be super comfy for the day too!

The money that is raised during Children in Need really does make a difference to the lives of children around the world. There really is no better reason to get out there and try to raise some for yourself. Whether it is a few hundred pound or just 5, it is still going to make a difference and make up the grand total!

 

 

Fundraise for Charities That Need Your Help

Posted on: May 6th, 2017 by c4c-admin-account No Comments

Let Cash4Coins help you exchange foreign currencies to fundraise for charities that need your help

Every charity is worthwhile, and every fundraising project has an important reason behind it. But it seems that throughout the UK, there are some charities that really need your help and support.

If you are looking for a new charity to donate to, we have some of those that are looking for a helping hand from donators up and down the UK.

Battersea Cats and Dogs Home

Here in the UK we are known for our love of animals, and in particular our pets. That said, charities just like Battersea Cats and Dogs Home see abandoned and mistreated pets on a number of occasions. Their aim is not only to never turn down a cat or dog that needs a new home. But also, to make sure that those cats and dogs find their way to a loving forever home.

The Lullaby Trust

No parent should ever go through the horror and pain of losing a child. However for around 600 families every year, that lose a baby suddenly, the pain is very real. The Lullaby Trust was set up to offer specialist support to those families, helping them through the difficult times as well as creating safety advice relating to sleeping babies.

They also conduct research into SIDS to find out what can be done to try and reduce the risk of it happening.

Dementia UK

More and more people throughout the UK are being touched by some form of Dementia. This particular charity is one of many that looks at ways to help and support those whose lives are affected by Dementia. It supports Admiral Nurses who will work with families who are coping with Dementia, and offer their specialist support and guidance through what can often be an uncertain and upsetting time.

Shelter

Whilst Shelter may be a charity that many people recognise, it is one that still needs donations. The issue of homelessness or bad homing is one that isn’t going away, and Shelter help millions of people each and every year. They not only provide support, but they also offer advice to those that are faced with homelessness, as well working hard to combat it on a wider level and try to eradicate the issue in the long term too.

RNLI

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution has been helping people who get into difficulty in the waters around the UK since 1824. The help that they offer is vital and saves lives up and down the country, however it relies mostly on volunteers, as well as donations from people to keep it running.

These are just some of the charities that you can decide to help by making a donation. The best way to ensure that your money is going to help something that you care about, is to take a look through some of the different charities, throughout the UK, the world or perhaps just in your local area, and make a pledge to support them to carry on doing all the great work that they already do.

 

How to Set Up a Crowd Funding Page

Posted on: April 2nd, 2017 by c4c-admin-account No Comments

Learn how to set up a fundraising page and raise money with foreign currencies with Cash4Coins

Over recent years the world of charity has changed. Or should we say, the way that money is raised for charity has changed.

One way that charity has moved forward is with the introduction of crowdfunding. Crowdfunding is used to raise money for a specific project, drive or simply for a particular aspect of a charity.

The crowdfund is usually time specific and has a huge dependence on the world of social media, a place that offers the perfect conditions to raise awareness, as well as raising money.

Need to find a way to raise money for a particular project? Perhaps the power of the community could help to build a memorial or a dedication? Or maybe assist in a charity drive?

If that is true, why not try out crowdfunding and see if it is the ideal way to raise the money that you need?

Here is our guide to setting up your own crowdfunding page.

Pick what you want to raise money for

Before you even start a crowdfunding page, you will need have a specific aim in mind. It should also have a clear outcome that you can present to your potential funders. You will also need to decide on the time frame that you want to raise money in.

Work out your budget and set your funding target

One of the main parts of any crowd funding project is how much you need to raise, and where it is going to go. You to do this by working out the budget of what you want to achieve from the money. You will also need to think about any commission that you need to pay to the crowdfunding site, and budget for any rewards that you need to hand out.

Get your pitch ready

You won’t be able to raise money if you don’t create a great pitch. The best way to do this is to create a short video, explaining more about your project, what you need the money for as well as the difference that you will hope to make.

The idea behind a pitch is that it not only makes everything clear, but it also grabs attention too!

Find a platform that you can promote on

There are a real variety of different crowd funding platforms that you can raise money through. You just need to find the right one for you. You will need to decide whether you want to offer a reward for the donations that people send through, or simply bring in the donations and allow people to help you to get to where you need to be.

Start it up

Once you have everything in place, it is time to launch. Get out and reach the community via email and social media. Encouraging people to share your page and pass on their requests for fundraising to their family and friends.

Keep it updated

It is important to keep all those wonderful people that have contributed to your fund updated on the project and how you are doing. Thank each and every person for their contribution and let them know the difference that their money will make.

Now you know more about crowdfunding, perhaps it is time to try it out for yourself, and see what you could do with the money.

 

A Brief History of Swiss Banking

Posted on: January 12th, 2017 by c4c-admin-account No Comments

 

Swiss banking over 300 years

Zurich and Geneva are the main hubs of Swiss economy, with Zurich being responsible for around a third of the wealth and a quarter of jobs within the city. Although Switzerland has its lack of natural resources, it makes the most of what its got and has become stable and prosperous by producing goods with strong value. For example, Rolex, Proctor & Gamble and – who could possibly forget? – Swiss chocolate.

Rolex-DD-18238-1

Aside from the chocolate, the beautiful mountainous views and popular ski resorts, Switzerland has a lot to offer. For those who want to keep their banking activities top secret, Switzerland is known as a financial safe haven. Regulation by civil law means that customers of the bank can put forwards complaints against any bank that doesn’t maintain client confidentiality. This has resulted in clients being protected because they cannot be prosecuted for information that has been divulged.

It all began over 300 years ago when Kings of France had the need for such a high degree of secrecy in their banking and borrowing of loans. It was carried forward through the years and became a safe place for people to reside their money after fleeing the revolution.

The Swiss Franc (CHF) has also always been the go-to currency in a crisis.

However, the modern day notoriety of some of the supposed ‘clients’ could include a strong list of mobsters, dictators and tax cheaters. This is due to the Banking Act of 1934 which allowed Switzerland to ultimately overcome the great depression and stock market crash of 1929 by allowing the clientele of the banks to keep their banking activity private. But this has also meant a lot of corruption over the years. Including the riddance of money and gold that was transferred from Jewish families over to Swiss banks from Germany, allegedly helping to finance their part in the war.

Top Secret Banking

However, it is not all bad. After World War Two, the USA, UK and France came to the agreement, called The Paris Agreement of 1946, that countries that remained neutral over the war would transfer over the money recovered from German allies to help aid Nazi victims. When discussing the issue, Switzerland transferred over approximately 250 million Swiss Francs of gold into the Tripartite Gold Commission’s monetary gold pool. This meant that the UK, French governments and US would waive claims against the Swiss banks connection to German gold over the war. In the years since, heirless money that has been left in Swiss bank accounts during that period of time has gone to Jewish and refugee communities to help rebuild the lives of families who were victims of the war.

Due to such high involvement in fraudulent scandals, Swiss banks have come under fire and held a national referendum in 2008 to amend the constitution that allows the information and records within banks to be open to tax authorities. However, a staggering 73% of the country voted against this idea, but it was not swiftly forgotten. In 2009, shortly after the UBS scandal, where a Swiss national helped US citizens avoid tax and defraud the US Inland Revenue Services, the law was amended so that non-Swiss clients of Swiss banks could be prosecuted for activity of this kind and limit tax evasion as much as possible.

Gold

Switzerland’s financial history is brief but remarkable. Withstanding wealthy King’s orders, world wars and great scandals, the Swiss have definitely got a lot to talk about (or keep to themselves, of course) in regards to their financial economy. If you have any queries in regards to your riches, please don’t keep it to yourself… Give our team a call today!

E-Money

Posted on: December 6th, 2016 by c4c-admin-account No Comments

The Debate

The way we pay for things has altered many times over the years depending on which culture or society it has derived from and where it is going. Currency has developed from many forms, such as leather, silver and gold. Even living animals, such as cows and sheep have been used for trade! The one thing that all of these types of currency have in common is its physical form. However, it has become apparent in the last few years that we are drastically changing our means of exchange by swapping our shrapnel for the instant contactless tap of our credit cards (and even the tap of our phones with Android and Apple Pay!) This goes hand in hand with the drastic progression of technology how it is has transformed the way we live today. We debate the pros and cons of these developments and what it means for you.

 

Summary of Development

Over the years, we have become more accustomed to the usage of money as a value on our credit cards rather than the physical cash that we have. This is not new though, as banks have been around for hundreds of years. This is where we can walk into any bank and get a statement of how much money we have stored in the account that we hold in that bank as long as we hold a legitimate form of ID. However, as technology has developed, the same principle still occurs, except we can now use cards, online banking and even our phones and watches in order to check the balance of our accounts. It has gone even further over the last decade, with people given the ability to do more than check the balance of their accounts. It has allowed us to control what goes in or out of our accounts by using a simple password and security questions to access our information.

 

Big Brother

There are many pros and cons that go hand in hand with making something as personal as our money, and how we spend it, electronic. For some people, their daily life requires the ease and speed that things like contactless payment and online banking offer. Although for some people, it can be a rather large hindrance. With the use of electronic payment, comes the record of how it is used. For many people this can be seen as a “Big Brother” economy, whereby the user is constantly being monitored on their spending pattern and cash can become suspicious. This constant monitoring can reduce crimes such as tax avoidance; however, it does pose the risk of fraudulent activity, theft and subsequently leaving many people vulnerable to their online activity being passed on to third parties. Not only is fraud an issue, but many people have a surge of marketing emails for products they don’t even want due to the way online stores share their personal information. We suggest that taking a little bit of extra time to read the fine print and un-tick any boxes that subject you to this kind of activity is one way to help you become a more savvy online shopper at a lower risk.

 

Risks and Personal Security

This poses the question of our safety and security. With cash in hand, at a store or a market, you know exactly what you are getting. Online, rather than simply exchanging money there are several steps involved that require us to enter all of our details such as, our home address, telephone numbers and sometimes even a family members name and address for extra “security”. Not only does this put us at risk of having our money stolen, it puts us at risk of having all of our personal information in the digital world where people can access it at ease. On the other hand, someone might argue that fraudulent activity has been an issue since the use of physical money with counterfeit coins and notes constantly in circulation.

 

Contactless Pay

This simple tapping method for goods under £30 has become a popular way of payment and it seems to have been received well with 81.5 million contactless cards used in the UK (as of January 2016). Apple and Android work on a similar basis of having our account details stored on our phone and tapping it against a card reader as a form of payment. There are many pros and cons to this form of payment alone, many people are in favour of its ease and speed, whilst some people simply do not trust that their cards won’t be in more danger of fraud, and other people cannot trust themselves not to overspend with such ease!

 

Financial Stability

Did you know that contactless payment is merely a promise? When a company allows us to use a credit card or contactless payment within their business, it is effectively the same as them giving us a loan and we are promising to repay it. The ability for us to access money that isn’t ours, and promise that we will pay it back is not a recent development, however it is now easier than ever for us to spend money that we may not have. When we can see physical cash, we are more mindful of how we spend it. This is because our minds can process, visually, when it is all gone then we cannot spend any more, whereas when it is a value on a screen that allows us to overdraw or borrow more money, we can easily forget the risks that come with it, for example, high interest charges. So when you are next at your local, remember to take the shrapnel beside your bed before you allow yourself to splurge on your card!

 

The Future

With the vast developments in technology more and more people signed onto online banking, “E-Money” seems as though it is here to stay. Whilst some people may be skeptical of its safety and security, these technological developments are not without great amounts of research and action in order to protect and prevent any complications of its use. Although it is simple, quick and easy, we believe that there is still a place for cash and the physical monetary form. So if you’re a little bit old fashioned, like us, and have any queries about any currency or money you may have then please contact one of our experts today.