Official conversion rates

Official conversion rates

Postby ronw » Sat Oct 03, 2009 7:38 am

In the rules, if I read it correctly, it said that the exchange rate between British Pounds and the currency of a team's home nation would be set based on the exhange rates during the first 9 months of the challenge.

Assuming my interpretation is correct, what are the official conversion rates?

Thank you.
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Re: Official conversion rates

Postby Monroe » Sun Oct 04, 2009 7:45 am

Be nice Paul! it's tough enough as it is! :) Can't we keep it right around at least 2000 USD :)
Hey what can I say!

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Re: Official conversion rates

Postby ThomVincent » Wed Mar 09, 2011 7:41 am

Paul,

Per ronw's question, are the Official Currency Conversion Rates posted somewhere for N-Prize? If they are, could you please post a link to them here? I have not been able to locate them. Thanks.

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Paul & Everyone,

Because I have been interested to know what the available budget is in US dollars, I have done some research to attempt to figure this out on my own. Here is the approach I have been using, for anyone who wishes to verify/research this.

I found the historical currency data at FT.com, but did not see a way to search that data for the high and low exchange rates, for an ad hoc time period. Perhaps I missed it? Not sure.
http://markets.ft.com/research/Markets/Data-Archive

Over at OandA.com I found an historical exchange rate search capability that seems to work quite well.
http://www.oanda.com/currency/historical-rates/

OandA.com records their exchange rate data slightly differently, or have a different source, than FT.com -- so the numbers for any given day do not match exactly between OandA and FT. However, the OandA search capability makes it easy to narrow down from 9 months, to a couple weeks, when each exchange rate is at it's highest. Those couple weeks can then be searched at the FT.com site, to get 'official' exchange rates.

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First, I created a list of the relevant countries and currencies. I included all the counties from the currently listed N-Prize Teams: UK, US, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Ghana, Canada, and Poland.

I then added countries that were not on the list, but that Wikipedia lists as having put a rocket in orbit: Russia, Ukraine, France, Japan, China, Europe, India, Israel, and Iran. Even if no Team enters N-Prize from these countries, people there may be interested in learning about N-Prize -- so there may be PR value in listing the N-Prize budget in their national currencies.

And, as a generic comparison value, I added the exchange rate for Gold.

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Second, for each currency, I looked up its exchange rate with the British Pound (GBP) for 09 April 2008 through 09 January 2009, inclusive. I highlighted the dates for the top ten exchange rates for each currency. I then resorted the data, to see where those highlighted dates grouped together.

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Third, for each currency, I check the highlighted dates on FT.com -- plus a couple days before and after -- to find FT's best exchange rate.

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I completed both the First and Second steps for all the countries / currencies listed above. Since that took so much time, I have only completed the Third step for US Dollars. However, anyone else is welcome to perform the Third step for any or all of the remaining currencies, if they choose.

I will post my results from the Second and Third steps in separate posts.

Cheers,
Thom
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Re: Official conversion rates

Postby ThomVincent » Wed Mar 09, 2011 7:36 pm

(continued)
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For converting between US Dollars (USD) and British Pounds (GBP), OandA.com showed that 15–22 July 2008 and 19–20 April 2008 are the high-points in that exchange rate for the N-Prize time period.

I initially looked up the USD/GBP exchange rate on Google Finance. It lists 18 July 2008 as the high-point (for the N-Prize period), with an exchange rate of 1.998. This rate would set the N-Prize budget of 999.99 GBP at $1,997.98 USD.

OandA.com lists 16 July 2008 as the high-point, with an exchange rate of 2.0025. OandA lists this as GBP/USD, but I think they have it backwards. I think it is actually USD/GBP. This rate would set the N-Prize budget of 999.99 GBP at $2,002.48 USD.

I searched the historical data, day by day, on FT.com around the July 2008 and April 2008 time periods mentioned above. I am not certain I have found FT's highest USD/GBP rate listed for the N-Prize time period. But, the highest FT.com rate I have found so far is for 17 July 2008, with an exchange rate of 2.0069. This rate would set the N-Prize budget of 999.99 GBP at $2,006.88 USD.

Has anyone found a higher exchange rate for the N-Prize period in US Dollars?

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My findings for the other countries/currencies are still to come.

Thanks,
Thom

{ p.s. If there are errors in my findings, please feel free to point them out. I'm not a currency conversion expert, so it's entirely possible something here is incorrect. }
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Re: Official conversion rates

Postby ThomVincent » Wed Mar 09, 2011 9:51 pm

(continued)
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Here are my findings on the time periods with the best (N-Prize) exchange rates for each country/currency ...

Australia
  • Australian Dollar (AUD)
  • 8–16 Oct 2008
  • 25–28 Oct 2008
Canada
  • Canadian Dollar (CAD)
  • 16–23 Oct 2008
  • 7–11 Aug 2008
China
  • Chinese Yuan Renminbi (CNY)
  • 18–28 Apr 2008
Europe
  • European Euro (EUR)
  • 4–7 Oct 2008
  • 15–21 Oct 2008
France
  • French Franc (FRF)
  • 4–7 Oct 2008
  • 15–21 Oct 2008
Ghana
  • Ghanaian New Cedi (GHS)
  • 25 Jul – 03 Aug 2008
Gold (oz.)
  • Gold (XAU)
  • 15–17 Aug 2008
  • 10–16 Sept 2008
India
  • Indian Rupee (INR)
  • 25–30 Sept 2008
  • 15–20 Oct 2008
  • 1–2 Jun 2008
Iran
  • Iranian Rial (IRR)
  • 27 Jun – 01 Jul 2008
  • 23–31 Jul 2008
  • 09 Jun 2008
Israel
  • Israeli New Shekel (ILS)
  • 9–14 Apr 2008
  • 1–4 Aug 2008
Japan
  • Japanese Yen (JPY)
  • 19–31 Jul 2008
New Zealand
  • New Zealand Dollar (NZD)
  • 8–16 Oct 2008
  • 25–28 Oct 2008
Poland
  • Polish Zloty (PLN)
  • 21–28 Oct 2008
  • 11 Nov 2008
  • 23 Nov 2008
Russia
  • Russian Ruble (RUB)
  • 26 Apr – 04 May 2008
  • 31 May – 01 Jun 2008
South Africa
  • South African Rand (ZAR)
  • 16–27 Oct 2008
Ukraine
  • Ukrainian Hryvnia (UAH)
  • 15–21 Dec 2008
  • 6–9 Jan 2009
UK
  • British Pounds (GBP)
US
  • US Dollar (USD)
  • 15–22 Jul 2008
  • 19–20 Apr 2008

There are also a number of countries with one or more satellites in orbit, but the list was too long to include at this time.

Cheers,
Thom

{ Disclaimer: If there are errors in my findings, please feel free to point them out. I'm not a currency conversion expert, so it's entirely possible something is incorrect. }
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Re: Official conversion rates

Postby pauldear » Wed Mar 09, 2011 10:41 pm

Wow! That's impressive, and good work.

No, I couldn't find a "search for highest rate" feature on the FT site either (I don't think there is one), and I simply trawled the rates day by day. I have not done this for all the currencies, since it's the entrants' responsibility to check this (and also, if truth be told, because I have been lazy).

If any teams feel they're getting close to budget, they'd be well advised to let me know, and I'm happy to double-check their numbers. The same, of course, goes for any queries on budget or other matters.

You also raise one important question - what to do for teams which are listed as "International" (there's only one at present). I hadn't considered this possibility. I think, in this case, that the choice of currency would correspond to the country from which the launch takes place. However, this always leaves open the possibility of abuse (if someone went to the trouble of building in one country, then launching from another where rates were better).

In the case of WikiSat, if it's a truly international effort, I would propose using the Euro as the "team currency" - anyone from WikiSat like to comment on this?

Best wishes,
Paul
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Re: Official conversion rates

Postby ThomVincent » Thu Mar 10, 2011 4:29 pm

Paul, and Everybody,

FWIW ..

For "International" teams - or for any team spending money in more than one country, for that matter - the percentage of the N-Prize budget spent in each currency could be calculated, then the percentages added together. As long as the "Total Spent Percentage" is less than or equal to 100%, that should be workable.

As an example, let's say there is a Pan-Scandinavian Team.

  • In Denmark, say the Total Budget Amount for N-Prize is 9600 Danish Krone (DKK). The Team spends 1440 DKK in Denmark, which is 15% of the Total Budget in DKK (1440/9600 = 15%).
  • In Sweden, say the Total Budget Amount for N-Prize is 12900 Swedish Krona (SEK). The Team spends 7740 SEK in Sweden, which is 60% of the Total Budget in SEK (7740/12900 = 60%).
  • In Norway, say the Total Budget Amount for N-Prize is 11600 Norwegian Kroner (NOK). The Team spends 2552 NOK in Norway, which is 22% of the Total Budget in NOK (2552/11600 = 22%).
Adding those currency-specific "Spent Percentages" together, you get 97% (15% + 60% + 22% = 97%). As long as that "Total Spent Percentage" stays below or equal to 100%, they could be counted as "within budget".

It takes a little math to do it this way, but it's not complicated. As long as the "Total Budget Amount" is known for each currency used, it's fairly straight forward.

Comments?

.. FWIW, Thom
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Re: Official conversion rates

Postby pauldear » Thu Mar 10, 2011 9:56 pm

Hi Thom,

Yes, that would work. Some degree of "internationalism" is catered for by accommodating currency exchanges (that is, a mechanism for teams to account for expenditure overseas), which I think ultimately comes to the same end-point. But your system makes sense and is clear.

It's just as well I didn't put up a challenge to build a time machine - the financial calculations would become a little more complex :-)

All the best,
Paul
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Re: Official conversion rates

Postby rick m » Wed Apr 27, 2011 7:18 am

Just send us gold.
Hard work is good for you, try it.
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Re: Official conversion rates

Postby pyramids » Wed Apr 27, 2011 2:22 pm

Gold is having a high-point last I checked... might be a good base currency if one needs expensive equipment...?

It seems to have increased in value vs. GBP about threefold in the past three years.
So if we can found a team in some country with gold-pegged currency, we can now spend the current equivalent of about 3000 GBP for what used to be 999.99 GBP at the competition's start.
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