FIAT money is a currency that is not based on material goods (such as gold). The value of FIAT money usually comes from political regulation. Its value is maintained by governments or by the fact that the parties have agreed on its exchange value. Examples of FIAT money include the euro, US dollar or British pound (EUR, USD, GBP).

FIAT money originally appeared in China in the 11th century and began to dominate in the 20th century. After Richard Nixon disconnected the US dollar from gold in 1971, FIAT money spread globally.

Unlike cryptocurrencies, FIAT money is controlled by financial institutions and can lose much value due to hyperinflation.