The British Pound is currently the oldest currency still in existence today, and has an exceptionally long and storied history to be sure. The name itself harkens back to a much older time in history.
The Naming of the Pound
The Pound is not an arbitrary name that some smart guy just dreamed up and decided to name their means of trading with. Historically the Pound Sterling was exactly that: one pound of Sterling Silver.
While the currency is no longer an actual pound of silver, it was backed by that when it was first transited to a paper currency. It is now considered a “flat currency” just like the U.S Dollar, meaning it is not backed by a commodity, whether silver in the case of the Pound or gold in the original incarnation of the U.S Dollar, but rather it is valued by the strength of the economy of the country responsible for its issue.
The pound is the 3rd most widely held currency in the reserves of the trading institutions around the world and is the 4th most traded currency in the world behind only the Euro which is the currency of the European Union, the U.S Dollar, and the Japanese Yen.
While it may be confusing to some that while The UK is part of the European Union they do not use the Euro, this was a conscious decision by the UK Government: to join the Union but to maintain its independence as far as its currency is considered. This may have been a prescient decision as the Pound is considerably higher in value when compared to the Euro because of the smaller and weaker economies in the E.U dragging the value of the Euro down to a certain degree.
The fact remains that the British Pound has been around for a long time and will probably remain so for quite a time to come!