Brexit: A currency valuation circus

24 Jun 2016

With news that the UK has decided to cast off its EU shackles and go it alone, everybody seems to want to know one thing. What’s going to happen with the pound?

Currency conversion is huge business, and it also employs almost impenetrable logic for average Josephs and Josephines like me. It was not supposed to be this way anymore.

So what do I do in times of stress? Rely on the internet. This is usually a quick solution, with revealing all in an instant. The problem is that, one of the world’s most-flocked-to currency conversion sites, is down.

Future Human

Amid the Brexit fallout, this is probably due to the massive influx of interest in pound queries.

Ups and downs

As we reported earlier, the pound has borne the brunt of the global markets’ savage reaction to the news that Britain has voted to leave the EU, with the currency falling to its lowest value since 1985. The euro has also slumped in the wake of the seismic development.

At CurrencyFair, which has an office in Dublin, business has been “crazy”, according to one source.

“The only way this won’t be one of, if not our best, trading day ever, is if we shut down our platform right now,” he said, which, given that it’s not even lunch yet, is a bit nuts.

“It’s been busy as hell, but our systems held up and we didn’t go down once.”

This comes amid a morning of fantastic confusion, with the pound’s value plummeting and Google search trends showing just how confused – and probably worried – everybody is.

It begins

Others searched for “buy gold”, sending the number of queries for that phrase up 500pc in the wake of the announcement, according to reports.

There was a spike of more than 100pc in UK searches for “getting an Irish passport” as the reality of a ‘Leave’ vote became clear in the wee hours of this morning.

The top search terms about the UK, globally, are all Brexit related.


The top terms about the UK coming from Germany are similar.


Main circus image via Shutterstock

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic