Currencies around the world- Everything you wish to know

Did you know that the US Dollar status as the world’s most popular currency has been called the ‘’exorbitant privilege’’? On the other hand, Kuwaiti Dinar (KWD) is the world’s most expensive foreign currency. You will receive only 3.31 Kuwait Dinar for 1 US Dollar. The historical debate over how to value world currencies has always been the talk of a town. Meanwhile, emerging digital currency (crypto) open new doors of discussion for the future of currencies around the world. Knowing about the currencies is particularly critical for the expatriates and overseas workers spread worldwide who often need to send money online back home to support their families.  

Whether it’s the Drachma of ancient Greece or the Euro in today’s market, its value is determined by the demand for it. Though, Pound Sterling (GBP) US dollar, (USD), Euro (EUR), Australian Dollar (AUD), Canadian Dollar (CAD), and Chines renminbi (CNH) are the world’s most dominating currencies. However, if you are in Malaysia, you need the Malaysian currency Ringgit to be able to buy things from the market. 

Similarly, if you are a Pakistani citizen earning in Malaysian currency Ringgit and want to send money to Pakistan, you will need to get Ringgit converted into Pakistani rupees to support your family back in Pakistan. Transferring money internationally requires you to understand the exchange rates and value of these currencies in the international market. Before that, let’s understand the history of Currency. 

History of Currencies – A Journey from the Barter System to Digital Currency 

Shekel, created by the people of Mesopotamian is known as the first form of currency. It dates back to 650 and 600 B.C. when the elites of Lonia and Lydia used gold coins and silver to pay armies. Before that, a barter system was used, which is an exchange of goods and services.

Currency evolved over the years, and passed through different stages as follows:

  • Barter – Early humans used the barter system as a medium of exchange; grains and cattle were popular goods to barter.
  • Gold – In the florin gold coins were widely accepted across Europe to encourage trade between nations.  
  • Metal Coins – History of coins tie to ancient Greece and located in modern-mid Turkey. The coins were made of an alloy of gold, silver and electrum with the stylised head of a lion.  
  • Paper Money – Paper money was first used by Chines during Tang Dynasty around 618-907 AD. It was practised for about 500 years in China before catching attention in Europe in the 17th Century.
  • Plastic Cards – Plastic cards include Credit Cards, Debit Cards, and ATM Cards. The cards were introduced to make the payment system cashless. The concept of plastic cards goes back to 1959 with American Express introducing a balance from month to month. 
  • Banknotes-  Australia was the first country to introduce polymer banknotes in 1988 followed by Canada, The Maldives, New Zealand, Romania, Vietnam, Mauritania, Brunei, Nicaragua and others. 
  • Electronic money – Electronic money or E-Money is not in physical form, the process is completed through the internet. E-Payment includes paying through online money transfer companies such as ACE Money Transfer and mobile payments.
  • Cryptocurrency – Currently, Crypto has entered the mainstream, as the first fully implemented decentralised digital currency. It is released by pseudonymous Satoshi Nakamoto in 2009. Popular digital currencies include Bitcoins, Ethereum, Binance Coin, and many others.

Since there are various currencies in the world, it’s not possible to cover all of them in one go. However, let’s get a highlight of the most valuable currencies in the world. 

The most widely used Currencies in the World  

Do you have any idea about the total number of currencies in the world? According to United Nations, there are 180 current currencies across the world. These currencies are recognised as legal tender in United Nations member states, partially recognised or unrecognised UN observer states, and their dependencies.

It is not the most expensive currency that is the strongest, rather the one traded the most in the world.

United States Dollar 

US Dollar, sometimes referred to as the greenback is one of the world’s largest currencies supported by the economy. Its symbol is $ and code USD. It has the world’s title of primary reserve currency. It is held by both commercial and central banks all over the world. As it is one of the most used currencies, international money transfer firms keep an eye on changing rates of the dollar in the international market. Also, the Canadian dollar is highly related to the US dollar.

The Euro

It is the official currency of 19 European Union Countries with the symbol ‘’€’’. It is also known as the single currency. The ISO code for the € is EUR. Currently, one Euro is equal to 1.13 US dollars. Euro is the world’s second-largest reserve currency. It is a widely trusted currency for its prevalence in the forex market and liquidity. 

The Pound-Sterling 

The Great British pound is known as pound sterling. It is also the most traded currency in the foreign market. It is the currency of the United Kingdom, Jersey, Guernsey, and the Isle of Man, South Georgia, South Sandwich Islands, Tristan Da Cunha, the British Antarctic Territory. Its symbol is £ and the ISO code is GBP. 

The Japanese Yen 

The Japanese yen is among the most traded Asian currencies. Its symbol is ¥ and the ISO code is JPY. After the US Dollar and Euro, it is another currency that is widely used. 

Kuwaiti Dinar

The strength of the Dinar is attributed to the gas and oil market in Kuwait. Its symbol is KD and is issued by the central bank of Kuwait. ISO code for the currency is KWD.

Bahraini Dinar 

The currency of Bahrain is known as Bahraini Dinar. The code for Bahranian Dinar is BHD. Currently, 1 Bahrainian Dinar is equal to 2.65 dollars. 

Other currencies include The Australian Dollar, Canadian Dollar, Omani Rial, Jordanian Dinar, Gibraltar Pound, Cayman Island Dollar, and Swiss Franc. These currencies are converted in the international market when someone needs to send money to other countries.

What is the Role of ACE Money Transfer in Currency Exchange? 

The international money market seems complicated if you do not have an understanding of currency exchange rates and transfer methods. However, companies like ACE Money Transfer provide convenience in this regard offering online money transfers with the best currency exchange services to 100+ countries. 

No worries, if you are not familiar with currency exchange rates. You can visit the ACE Money Transfer’s website, and use the Transfer calculator to help you find out the exchange rate. With ACE, life is easier and making an online money transfer is reliable.

Show More