When did Forex trading historically start, and by whom?

Early primitive forms of currency trading go back to the ancient Greeks, Egyptians, and Romans. It was the Romans who centralized the minting of currency and imposed a government monopoly on the trading of currency.
The first Forex market was founded in Amsterdam in the 17th century. Amsterdam was a crossroads of many different nationalities and was an enclave of not only social, but also economic freedom.
London was an epicenter of the Forex market around the time of World War I. It was also around this time that governments began to print more money than they had gold to back it, bringing the gold standard into question. During World War II, the Bretton Woods system was introduced, but it also failed. By 1973, most of the world’s currencies were allowed to float freely against each other, giving us the Forex market we know today.