Foreign exchange used to be limited to large players such as national banks and multi-national corporations. In the 1980's the rules were revised to allow smaller investors to participate using margin accounts. Margin accounts are the reason why Forex trading has become so popular. With a 100:1 margin account you can control $100,000 with a $1,000 investment.
Forex is not simple however and education is needed to make wise investment decisions. Although it is relatively easy to start trading on the Forex there are risks involved so finding out as much as possible about the market is a good move for any beginner.