TOP 10 The Weakest World Currencies in 2019
Most people know about the strongest, most stable and powerful world currencies, for example, British Pound Sterling, Swiss Franc (Swissie), US Dollar, Euro and others (see TOP 10 the strongest currencies).
These Currencies are the most stable as well as the countries issuing them.
However, what about the lowest world currencies? Who knows their titles and what countries they are issued in…?
While making this list we found that it's definitely hard to set the proper order of least valuable currencies, due to the fact that the economic situation is changing rapidly in all countries.
However, it is possible to define certain devalued national currencies at the moment. Thus lets look at 10 the cheapest foreign currencies against the US Dollar.
The exchange rate of lowest currencies was updated on the following date: Jan 13 2019.
No.1 – Iranian Rial (1 USD = ~112,000 IRR)
Currency code – IRR
1 USD = 41,994 IRR (official rate)
1 USD = ~112,000 IRR (black market rate)
Iranian Rial – is officially the lowest currency in the world.
To simplify the calculations, citizens often uses the name Toman, which means 10 rials. If you’re asked to pay 200 tomans, it will mean that your check is 2000 rials.
Iran-Iraq War, Israel attacking, as well as the possibility of a Nuclear Weapon threatening the world from Iran government caused world superpowers to force economic and political sanctions. These measures included restricting access to the world commodity market and led to significant downturn in their economy. Being an oil exporter, Iran could no longer export its oil, which created a critical deficit in their budget.
All this caused Iranian Rial to become the “worst" world currency. From 2016, USA and EU have lifted some sanctions alternately, which should improve economic situation and stabilize the local money.
No.2 – Vietnamese Dong (23,194 VND/USD)
Currency code – VND
1 USD = 23,194 VND
Vietnamese Dong is the second currency with the lowest value in the world.
Vietnam is still on it’s hard path from the centralized economy type to the market one, and consequently this country currency is almost devalued today. At the moment Dong takes the second place in our “poorest currencies list".
However, experts insist that Vietnamese Government is going the right way and soon it can catch up with its closer Asian neighbors.
No.3 – Indonesian Rupiah (14,237 IDR/USD)
Currency code – IDR
1 USD = 14,237 IDR
Due to the low value of old-style banknotes, by presidential decree of September 5, 2016, 7 new banknotes were issued in denominations of 1 thousand to 100 thousand rupiah.
Indonesia is an economically stable and developed country in Southeast Asia. However, its money has very low exchange rate. The regulatory authorities of the country are taking all measures to strengthen national currency, but all their efforts lead only to insignificant changes.
No.4 – Guinean Franc (9,198 GNF/USD)
Currency code – GNF
1 USD = 9,198 GNF
Regarding high inflation rate, progressing poverty and gangsters prosperity the currency of Guinea – African country is one of the most inflated currency.
Considering wealthy natural gifts: gold, adamants and aluminum the currency of this country should be one of the most expensive.
No.5 – Lao or Laotian Kip (8,550 LAK/USD)
Currency code – LAK
1 USD = 8,550 LAK
Lao is the only currency from this list, which did not devalue, but was originally issued with very low rate. Besides, from it’s issue date in 1952, the currency did strengthen against US Dollar and continue to improve its value.
No.6 – Sierra Leonean Leone (8,446 SLL/USD)
Currency code – SLL
1 USD = 8,446 SLL
Sierra Leone is a very poor African country, which handled out many serious tests and this caused the local money to devalue. Recently, a war took place and now Ebola death virus prevails.
No.7 – Uzbek Sum (8,336 UZS/USD)
Currency code – UZS
1 USD = 8,336 UZS
The modern sum was put into circulation with the ratio of 1 sum equal to 1000 sum-coupons since July 1, 1994 by the Decree of the President of Uzbekistan.
As a result of the liberalization of the monetary policy, from September 5, 2017, the exchange rate of the sum against the US dollar is set at 1 USD = 8100 UZS, with an estimated range of 8000-8150 UZS for 1 US dollar.
No.8 – Paraguayan Guarani (5,953 PYG/USD)
Currency code – PYG
1 USD = 5,953 PYG
Paraguay is the second most poor South American country. It is a disastrous economic downturn, which means inflation, corruption, low education quality, enormous number of poor people, high unemployment rate, etc.
Paraguay exports cotton and soybean, but this is hardly enough to cover expenses.
No.9 – Cambodian Riel (4,016 KHR/USD)
Currency code – KHR
1 USD = 4,016 KHR
Cambodian Riel is the currency of Monarch State in Southeast Asia. This monetary unit was implemented in 1995 to change Indochinese Piastre. Originally, Riel had a low exchange rate and was not popular among locals who had decided to use foreign currencies.
A larger part of Cambodian prefer to use US dollar for payments now, what cause the local currency to devalue even more.
No.10 – Ugandan shilling (3,714 UGX/USD)
Currency code – UGX
1 USD = 3 714 UGX
In 1966, the Uganda shilling first appeared, replacing the East African shilling. The latter was the official means of payment in Kenya, Uganda, Tanganyika and Zanzibar.
The following banknotes denominations are currently in circulation: 1.000, 2.000, 5.000, 10.000, 20.000 and 50.000.
Uganda Shilling is a relatively stable currency. Over the past few years, its value hasn’t decreased more than 5%.
Out of TOP 10 (redenominated)
Denomination is a change in the nominal value of banknotes, usually after hyperinflation in order to stabilize the currency and simplify the calculations.
During the denomination, there is an exchange of old banknotes to new ones, which, as a rule, have a smaller denomination.
Due to this fact some of the currencies has left the above list.
Venezuelan Sovereign Bolívar
Currency code – VES (Old VEF)
1 USD = ~248,487 VEF (before denomination)
Venezuelan Bolívar – was the most inflated currency in the world.
The denomination was carried out on August 20, 2018. The main reason for the denomination was hyperinflation of around 830,000% which keeps increasing by day despite the implementation of this denomination. Old banknotes were replaced with new ones with at the ratio of 1 new VES to 100,000 old VEF.
A cryptocurrency (Petro) was created by the government to “fight the US dollar” but this only accelerates the hyperinflation rate because the government itself decides the value of it, at their whim.
Sao Tomean Dobra
Currency code – STD
1 USD = 22,691 STD (before denomination)
The denomination was held on the 1st of January 2018. 1 new dobra (STN) equal to 1,000 (STN) of the previous dobras
Two small islands in West Africa called St. Tome and Principe are exporting cacao, coffee and coconuts but this is not enough to support the local economy at an appropriate level.
Recently, oil fields were found on the St. Tome Island and that is why Dobra is expected to improve its economy soon.
Currency code – BYR
1 USD = 20,846 BYR (before denomination)
The denomination was held on the 1st of July 2016. 1 new (BYN) = 10,000 old (BYR)
Belarusian republic is the emigrant country after USSR collapse in 1992. It created its own national currency – Belarusian Ruble that is still falling as per its exchange rate. High taxes, inflation, corruption and political restrictions led to significantly low price for this currency inside the global market.
Why do currencies devalue?
In most cases, state currencies devalue because of economic downturn inside a country. This cause balance of payments deficit and the inflation rate to grow.
This can be a consequence of different economic downturns such as war actions, GDP decreasing, commodities devaluation serving as exports basics, purchasing power falling, credit conditions tightening, political instability inside a country and etc.
Devaluation (currency devaluation) is often tied with incorrectly organized monetary policy and relating decisions of fiscal controls (Central Banking System).