The Singapore dollar is the official currency of Singapore, the world’s only island city-state. Modern day Singapore was effectively created in the early 19th Century as a trading post for the East India Company. This was a British trading company designed to exploit the commercial advantages provided by the expansion of the British Empire. In 1826, after the company’s collapse, the island formally became a British dependency. These links remained until World War Two, when the island was occupied by the Japanese.
Instead, Singapore became one of the world’s most unlikely success stories, re-fashioning itself as a technology capital, at the forefront of commercial and technological development. Relying on its well educated human capital, already existing trading links to its former colonial partners and, via the United Kingdom, to Europe as well. Its geographical position meant that it was able to become a major player in the burgeoning “Asian Tiger” economic phenomenon, and it remains a significant economic force in the world to this day.
Following independence in 1963 and as a consequence of the break away from Malaysia, Singapore was forced to issue its own currency, the Singapore dollar, in 1967, although the new money remained equivalent in value to the Malaysian Ringgit until 1973. At this point, the new dollar was initially linked to the British pound, but the impending oil crisis and resulting economic turmoil led the Singaporean authorities to switch to a linkage with the US dollar instead. This too was soon replaced. Rapidly expanding trade links with its East Asian neighbours meant that pegging the Singaporean dollar to the US dollar was not sustainable. As a result, since the mid-70s, the Singapore dollar has been more independent, initially linked in value to a confidential basket of various frequently traded currencies. Since the mid-80s, a government body has monitored the value of the Singapore dollar closely, allowing it to float within pre-determined limits against a variety of influential world currencies. The intention is to attempt to enable the Singaporean economy to benefit from the “best of both worlds” – a free floating currency, but with some government control over import and export pricing.
By an unusual Currency Interchangeability Agreement, the Singapore dollar remains equivalent in value to the Brunei dollar. It is accepted as “customary tender” in the Sultanate of Brunei, a tiny nation on the neighbouring island of Borneo. Equally, the Brunei dollar is accepted in Singapore.
It is unlikely that UK registered online bingo sites are troubled by a deluge of Singapore dollar deposits, given its remote location and tiny population. But it’s not called the World Wide Web for nothing, so doubtless a few unusual payments are received.
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