Currencies Of The World

Basic economic activities like buying and selling, otherwise known as trade or commerce, dates back thousands of years. However, in ancient times, there was no common medium of exchange like currencies. Goods and services were exchanged through the barter trade. But, this type of trade could not be sustained and led to several losses, especially for those who exchanged more valuable items for less ones. Hence, there was a need for a universally accepted buying and selling means. Around 600 BC, the first currency, the Mesopotamian shekel, appeared in Lydia (present-day Turkey).

What Is A Currency?

The evolution of currency.

In general terms, a currency is a money in any form used as a medium of exchange, especially in coins and banknote forms. Money can be defined as any legal tender issued by the government and accepted as a payment for goods or services offered, taxes, and debt repayment. Thus, a currency is a monetary unit used by the buyer to obtain goods or services from a seller. Most countries have their currencies. Thus, a country may not use its currency in another country unless it is converted to the local currency at an exchange rate. However, two or more countries can use one currency. For instance, Nineteen EU member states use a common currency known as the euro (€).

Currency Classification

Currencies can be classified into three monetary systems; representative, commodity, and fiat money. Representative money is money printed on paper representing the value of an item or commodity. For instance, a gold certificate representing the value of gold one has. Commodity money is money in the form of other items such as gold or silk, which can be used in buying other goods. Fiat money is a currency issued by the government and not pegged on any commodity. Another form of currency gaining popularity is virtual currency, a digital, unregulated currency issued and controlled by the developer. Examples include Litecoin and Bitcoin. 

Popular Currencies

Almost every country has a unique currency, although some countries share common currencies. Currently, about 180 currencies are used across the globe and recognized by the United Nations. However, not all the currencies have equal strength or value; some are stronger and trade frequently in the foreign exchange markets. The Kuwaiti dinar is the world’s strongest and highest valued currency. It is also the world’s most valuable currency, with its strength and value attributed to Kuwait’s oil resources.

US dollar
US Dollar.

The US dollar (US$) is the most used and trade currency. It is considered the world’s chief reserve currency held by most commercial and central banks globally. Besides the US, 22 other countries use different forms of the dollar currency, including Australia and Canada. The Euro currency (€) is used by 19 of the 27 EU member states, making it one of the currencies used by most countries. Pound sterling (£) is the oldest currency still in use and the UK’s official currency. Other powerful currencies include the Japanese Yen (¥) and the Indian Rupee (₹) 

Why Countries Need Currencies

Almost every country trades with other countries either within their regions or overseas. Some countries trade more than others. In most cases, barter trade is not practical, so money is used in such circumstances. However, countries have different types of currencies or money with different units of account. Therefore, they cannot buy goods from another country using the local currencies. The most common solution to this problem is currency exchange.

Currency is important to a country because of the exchange rate. Nations use their foreign currency reserves to fix exchange rates to become competitive in the export market, improve investor confidence, and remain liquid during a crisis. Currency reserves are also required to offset external debts and fund diverse sectors of the economy.

Country Currency Sub Currency

Afghanistan

afghani

100 puls

Algeria

dinar

100 centimes

Andorra

euro

100 cents

Argentina

peso

100 centavos

Australia

dollar

100 cents

Austria

euro

100 cents

Bahamas

dollar

100 cents

Bahrain

dinar

1,000 fils

Barbados

dollar

100 cents

Belgium

euro

100 cents

Belize

dollar

100 cents

Benin

franc

100 centimes

Bolivia

boliviano

100 centavos

Brazil

real

100 centavos

Brunei

dollar

100 cents or sen

Bulgaria

lev

100 stotinki

Cameroon

franc

100 centimes

Canada

dollar

100 cents

Cayman Islands

dollar

100 cents

Central African Rep.

franc

100 centimes

Chad

franc

100 centimes

Chile

peso

100 centavos

China

yuan

10 fen

Colombia

peso

100 centavos

Congo

franc

100 centimes

Costa Rica

colon

100 centimos

Cuba

peso

100 centavos

Cyprus (Greek)

euro

100 cents

Cyprus (Turkish)

lira

100 kurus

Czechoslovakia

koruna

100 halers

Denmark

krone

100 ore

Djibouti

franc

100 centimes

Dominican Rep.

peso

100 centavos

Ecuador

dollar

100 cents

Egypt

pound

100 piastres

El Salvador

colon

100 centavos

Ethiopia

birr

100 cents

Fiji

dollar

100 cents

Finland

euro

100 cents

France

euro

100 cents

Gabon

franc

100 centimes

Gambia

dalasi

100 bututs

Germany

euro

100 cents

Ghana

cedi

100 pesewas

Greece

euro

100 cents

Guatemala

quetzal

100 centavos

Guinea

franc

100 centimes

Guyana

dollar

100 cents

Haiti

gourde

100 centimes

Honduras

lempira

100 centavos

Hong Kong

dollar

100 cents

Hungary

forint

100 filler

Iceland

Krona

100 aurar

India

rupee

100 paise

Indonesia

rupiah

100 sen

Iraq

dinar

1,000 fils

Ireland

euro

100 cents

Israel

shekel

100 agorot

Italy

euro

100 cents

Ivory Coast

franc

100 centimes

Jamaica

dollar

100 cents

Japan

yen

100 cen

Jordan

dinar

1,000 fils

Kenya

shilling

100 cents

Kuwait

dinar

1,000 fils

Lebanon

pound

100 piastres

Luxembourg

euro

100 cents

Malawi

kwacha

100 tambala

Malaysia

ringgit

100 sen

Maldives

rufiyaa

100 laari

Malta

euro

100 cents

Mauritania

ouguiya

5 khoums

Mauritius

rupee

100 cents

Mexico

peso

100 centavos

Mongolia

tugrik

100 mongo

Montenegro

euro

100 cents

Morocco

dirham

100 centimes

Nepal

rupee

100 paisa

Netherlands

euro

100 cents

New Zealand

dollar

100 cents

Nicaragua

cordoba

100 centavos

Niger

franc

100 centimes

Norway

krone

100 ore

Oman

riyal-omani

1,000 baiza

Pakistan

rupee

100 paisa

Papua New Guinea

kina

100 toea

Paraguay

guarani

100 centimos

Peru

inti

100 centimes

Philippines

peso

100 centavos

Poland

zloty

100 groszy

Portugal

euro

100 cents

Qatar

riyal

100 dirhams

Romania

leu

100 bani

Russia

ruble

100 kopeks

Rwanda

franc

100 centimes

Saudi Arabia

riyal

100 halalas

Senegal

franc

100 centimes

Serbia

dinar

100 paras

Seychelles

rupee

100 cents

Sierra Leone

leone

100 cents

Singapore

dollar

100 cents

Slovakia

koruna

Slovenia

euro

100 cents

Solomon Islands

dollar

100 cents

Somalia

shilling

100 cents

South Africa

rand

100 cents

South Korea

won

100 chon

Spain

euro

100 cents

Sri Lanka

rupee

100 cents

Sudan

dinar

Suriname

guilder

100 cents

Sweden

krona

100 ore

Switzerland

franc

100 centimes

Syria

pound

100 piastres

Taiwan

dollar

100 cents

Tanzania

shilling

100 cents

Thailand

baht

100 satang

Togo

franc

100 centimes

Trinidad & Tobago

dollar

100 cents

Tunisia

dinar

1,000 millimes

Turkey

lira

100 kurus

Uganda

shilling

100 cents

Ukraine

hryvnia

100 kopiyka

United Arab Emir.

dirham

1,000 fils

United Kingdom

pound

100 pence

United States

dollar

100 cents

Uruguay

peso

100 centesimos

Venezuela

bolivar

100 centimos

Vietnam

dong

100 xu

Western Samoa

tala

100 sene

Zambia

kwacha

100 ngwee

Zimbabwe

dollar

100 cents

Note: currencies often change value without notice

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