What is the Currency of Belarus?

By Victor Rotich on August 1 2017 in Economics

The Belarusian ruble.

Belarus uses the ruble as its official currency. The currency's symbol is Br and it has an ISO 4217 code of BYN. The ruble's subdivisions consist of 100 kopeks.

History of Belarusian ruble

The first ruble was introduced and used from 1992-2000. Since there was no capacity or license to print Soviet banknotes, Belarus opted to print the country's national currency to simplify the cash circulation. The currency received different name proposals, but eventually, the word ruble was made its official name.

The introduction of the second ruble took place in 2000 and was in use until 2016. The ruble was ISO 4217 with the code BYR. A replacement of the first ruble, the conversion was 1000BYB per one BYR. Essentially, the second ruble was a redenomination involving the removal of the three zeros in the first ruble.

In 1994, President Alexander Lukashenko suggested monetary integration with Russia. In addition to the idea, there was a suggestion to introduce a combined currency for the Union of Belarus and Russia. In 2008, an implementation took place in a different way when the Central Bank of Belarus announced the tie between the Belarusian ruble and the United States dollar, leaving out the Russian ruble. Consequently, Stanislav Bogdankevich, the previous chairperson of the bank, argued that the decision was politicized in the sense that there was a plan to hike prices of gas and oil exports to Belarus.

The third ruble was introduced in 2016 and it is the used in Belarus today. It has an ISO 4217 code of BYN with a conversion of 1 BYN = 10,000 BYR. There was parallel circulation of both kinds of rubles (old and new) starting from July to December 2016. During this period, the government of Belarus also brought coins into circulation for the first time. From July 1, 2016, denominations of bank notes and coins came into circulation. The notes denominations are 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 and 500 rubles, while those of coins are 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50 kopeks, and 1 and 2 rubles.

Belarusian ruble coins

As a result of the Belarusian ruble redenomination in 2016, the first series of coins came into circulation that year. For coins up to the denomination of five, copper plated steel is the main component. The other denominations of coins are struck in brass-plated steel. The national emblem of Belarus appears on all of the coins.

Belarusian ruble banknotes

The first ruble notes were introduced in 1992 while the introduction of the second ruble banknotes took place in 2000. The third ruble notes came into existence in 2016 with the denominations of 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, and 500 rubles. De La Rue Company prints these notes. The Belarusian ruble and euro banknotes have similar designs.

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