In the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, gold played a key role in international monetary exchanges. The gold standard has been used to secure currencies; the international value of money was determined by its strong relationship with gold; Gold was used to pay international bills. The gold standard maintained fixed exchange rates deemed desirable because they reduced risk in trade with other countries. The only currency strong enough to meet the growing demand for international monetary transactions was the US dollar. The strength of the U.S. economy, the fixed dollar-to-gold ratio ($35 per ounce), and the U.S. government`s commitment to turning dollars into gold at that price have made the dollar almost gold. In fact, the dollar was even better than gold: it earned interest and was more flexible than gold.