TOP-20 Most Powerful Currencies in the World
According to the United Nations, 180 currencies are legal tender, but when asked, “Which currency is the highest in the world?” what comes to mind? The US dollar, which is strengthening because of the Fed’s hawkish monetary policy stance in response to skyrocketing inflation. Or the euro, despite the International Monetary Fund predicting just 0.5% growth in the European economy in 2023 and warning that “the worst is yet to come” due to the war in Ukraine, record inflation, and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Perhaps the British pound, despite the UK’s challenging domestic picture? You’d be surprised to learn that there are currencies that outperform the trio.
What are the top 20 currencies in the world? FXOpen has compiled a list of the world's top-20 currencies in the world as of 2022. Learn which is number one, and which are stronger than USD, EUR, and GBP despite the latters’ title of the most famous, most traded, and most widely spread currencies.
*In the following list of the top 20 highest currencies in the world, all currencies are quoted against one US dollar as of April 28, 2023.
20. Brazil real
Sign: R$; code: BRL
Exchange rate: 0.19 USD
Brazil is one of the world's top exporters of raw resources. The country has had the real as legal money since 1994, and it is now Latin America's strongest currency. Due to the nation's recent economic difficulties, real has experienced several adjustments, but could recover in the second quarter of 2022.
19. Fijian dollar
Sign: FJ$; code: FJD
Exchange rate: 0.44 USD
The Fiji dollar is tied to a weighted basket of currencies, which includes the Australian dollar, New Zealand dollar, United States dollar, Japanese yen, and euro, under Fiji's fixed exchange rate regime.
Fiji has one of the most advanced economies among the Pacific islands. A sizable portion of the nation's agriculture industry is devoted to subsistence farming. The two largest industries for generating foreign cash are tourism and sugar exports.
18. Bulgarian lev
Sign: Лв; code: BGN
Exchange rate: 0.51 USD
Bulgaria has an industrialized economy and is considered upper-middle class. Since 2009, inflation has fluctuated below 5% but has mostly remained constant. The main exports are clothes, machinery, and iron and steel. According to the government's most recent declaration in May 2022, Bulgaria, an EU member since 2007, will adopt the euro as its official currency in 2024. Once the nation satisfies all five requirements for euro convergence the change will take place.
17. New Zealand dollar
Sign: NZ$; code: NZD
Exchange rate: 0.61 USD
According to the study conducted by the Bank of International Settlements, the “kiwi” had occupied the 10th position on the list of the most traded currencies since 2010 but dropped to the 14th position in October. The manufacturing industry in New Zealand has been growing slowly lately, but it saw a downturn in October. PMI for manufacturing decreased to 49.3 from 51.7 in September. This was the lowest amount seen since August 2021, when Covid put the nation on lockdown. The New Zealand dollar is rising in spite of the weak manufacturing figures.
16. Australian dollar
Sign: $; code: AUD
Exchange rate: 0.66 USD
The Aussie dollar or Aussie is the official legal tender not only in Australia but in some Pacific island states. The AUD, which has a strong association with commodities like iron, copper, and gold, is one of the most widely used currencies. The value of the Australian dollar is extremely volatile and counter-cyclical, which means it has no relationship to other currencies.
The Aussie is one of the world’s reserve currencies thanks to Australia’s stable system of government and the effective monetary policy maintained by the Reserve Bank of Australia. China is the country’s main trading partner, so China’s economic stance affects the value of this currency.
15. Brunei dollar
Sign: B$; code: BND
Exchange rate: 0.73 USD
The Brunei dollar and Singapore dollar are interchangeable at par as a result of a currency interchangeability agreement from 1967. Both the Singapore dollar and the Brunei dollar are recognized as "customary tender" in both countries.
Brunei is ranked as a developed country and has the second-highest Human Development Index among the countries of Southeast Asia, after Singapore. About 90% of its GDP is derived from the production of crude oil and natural gas.
Brunei is the fourth-largest oil producer in Southeast Asia, with about 167,000 barrels of oil being produced per day. Brunei is the ninth-largest gas exporter in the world. Based on its oil and gas reserves, Forbes rates Brunei as the tenth-richest country on Earth as of 2022.
14. Singapore dollar
Sign: S$; code: SGD
Exchange rate: 0.75 USD
In 2019, the Singapore dollar was named the 13th most traded currency globally. The economy of Singapore is viewed as being open, creative, vibrant, and business-friendly. Singapore, the only Asian nation to have this grade, is one of the few nations that have had a AAA credit rating from the Big Three credit rating agencies for a number of years. Thanks to its strategic position, highly qualified workforce, low tax rates, state-of-the-art infrastructure, and zero-tolerance for corruption, Singapore draws significant amounts of international investment.
With one of the greatest net international investment positions per capita and the tenth largest foreign reserve position in the world, Singapore has been referred to as a tax haven for the rich due to its low personal income tax rates and tax exemptions on income and capital gains from foreign sources.
13. Canadian dollar
Symbol: $; code: CAD
Exchange rate: 0.73 USD
Investor interest in Canada's worldwide trade balance is growing as a result of rising global demand and exorbitant pricing for Canadian goods brought on by supply chain restrictions due to pandemic and war-related events. The cycle of rising interest rates throughout the world also benefits the Canadian currency. The Canadian dollar ranks after the US dollar, the euro, the yen, and sterling as the fifth most widely held reserve currency in the world, making up around 2% of all reserves.
The American economy affects the value of the Canadian dollar as the USA is Canada's largest trading partner.
12. Bermudian dollar
Symbol: $; code: BMD
Exchange rate: 1.00 USD
BMD is pegged at a 1:1 ratio to USD, both currencies are equally used for transactions. Bermuda's per capita income is now the fourth highest in the world, mostly due to offshore financial services for non-resident companies, particularly offshore insurance and reinsurance, as well as tourism.
11. Panamanian balboa
Sign: B/.; code: PAB
Exchange rate: 1.01 USD
Since its creation, the balboa has been pegged to the US dollar, which is likewise accepted as legal cash in Panama, at a 1:1 ratio and has always been in circulation alongside US dollars.
The services sector, which makes up about 80% of Panama's GDP and the majority of its foreign revenue, is the foundation of that country's economy. The Panama Canal, banking, business, the Colón Free Trade Zone, insurance, container ports, flagship registry, health and medical care, and tourism are just a few examples of the services offered. Manufacturing of textiles, cement, beverages, adhesives, and replacement parts for airplanes are all industries in the nation. In addition, Panama exports textiles, shrimp, sugar, coffee, and bananas.
10. Bahamian dollar
Sign: $; code: BSD
Exchange rate: 1 USD
Bahamian dollars are pegged to US dollars one-to-one. Tourism and offshore finance are essential to the Bahamas' economy. The Bahamas is the wealthiest nation in the West Indies and has the 14th-highest nominal GDP in North America. It has a population of 391,232 and is a stable, developing country in the Lucayan Archipelago. For many years, steady rise in tourism revenues and a surge in the building of new hotels, resorts, and homes had contributed to steady GDP growth. With a 15% GDP contribution, financial services are the second-largest economic sector in the Bahamas.
9. US dollar
Sign: $; code: USD
Which is the highest currency in the world? You may say it’s the US dollar. However, that’s not true. USD is ranked ninth in the list of the strongest currencies.
A mixed-market economy, the United States has the largest nominal GDP and net wealth in the world. Its economy is fueled by a well-developed infrastructure, abundant natural resources, and high productivity. In terms of technology and innovation, the United States has the most powerful economy in the world. Several of its firms are at or near the forefront of technological advances, including artificial intelligence, computers, pharmaceuticals, medical, aerospace, and military equipment. The US economy, stable government, and military all contribute to the US dollar's strength.
The US dollar is included in the currency basket of the IMF's special drawing rights together with the other major currencies of the world: the euro, pound sterling, Japanese yen, and Chinese yuan. Central banks throughout the world retain substantial stockpiles of US dollars and frequently purchase US treasury bills and notes.
In the majority of cases, the USD is the common currency unit used to quote, trade, and settle payments for items on the international commodity markets. The US Dollar Index is a crucial tool for determining whether the dollar is strong or weak relative to a basket of six other currencies.
Which currency is higher than USD? Let’s study the list.
Symbol: €; code: EUR
Exchange rate: 1.10 USD
A high of US$1.60 was reached on July 18, 2008, and since then, the euro has been trading close to its initial issue rate, after trading below the US dollar from December 1999 to December 2002. Due in part to the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine, the two currencies reached parity on July 13 of that year for the first time in two decades. The collective economy of the EU's member states makes up the EU economy. After the US and China, it has the third-largest nominal economy in the world, and behind those two countries in terms of purchasing power parity (PPP). The nominal GDP of the EU is projected to be over $16.6 trillion in 2022, or almost a sixth of the world economy.
After the US dollar, the euro is the second-largest reserve currency and the second-most traded currency worldwide. Overall, 19 of its 27 members utilise the euro, making it the official or de facto currency in 25 countries, including the six additional European nations that are part of the eurozone.
7. Swiss franc
Symbol: Fr. or fr.; code: CHF
Exchange rate: 1.12 USD
Switzerland and Liechtenstein both use the Swiss franc as their official currency and legal money. Additionally, it is accepted as legal tender in the Swiss territory-encircled Italian exclave of Campione d'Italia. Büsingen am Hochrhein, a German exclave, does not officially recognize Swiss francs as legal tender; rather, the euro is the only recognized currency there. Nevertheless, Swiss francs are widely used on a daily basis.
Switzerland's economy is one of the most developed and sophisticated free-market economies in the world. Switzerland is a desirable location for foreign investment due to its political and economic stability, high level of financial reporting openness, and low bank interest rates.
6. Pound sterling
Symbol: £; code: GBP
Exchange rate: 1.25 USD
All around the world, sterling is utilized as a reserve currency. While not the strongest, the British pound is among the top currencies in the world. The British economy is one of the most highly advanced, market-driven, and globally integrated economies. When measured by nominal gross domestic product (GDP), purchasing power parity (PPP), and GDP per capita, it ranks as the sixth-largest national economy in the world and accounts for 3.3% of global nominal GDP. In terms of PPP (purchasing power parity), the UK accounts for 2.34% of global GDP.
The GBP has been nominally more valuable than the USD for more than 20 years, however, Brexit structurally damaged the British pound, and it was further devalued as a result of low market confidence in the Liz Truss administration and "Trussonomics''. The current chancellor of the Exchequer, Jeremy Hunt, appears to have steadied markets by abandoning the Truss tax cuts, which has therefore stopped the pound's slide.
We are now down to the top 5 currencies in the world.
5. Cayman Islands dollar
Symbol: $; code: KYD
Exchange rate: 1.21 USD
Although the GBPUSD rate is higher than the KYDUSD rate as of the end of April 2023, the British pound is more volatile, and its value changes more often than that of the Cayman Islands dollar. Therefore, the latter can be considered a stronger currency.
The tourism and financial services sectors combined account for between 50-60% of the country's gross domestic product in the Cayman Islands, a British overseas territory in the western Caribbean Sea. The nation is considered one of the world's top tax havens for both individuals and corporations. The territory is one of the top offshore jurisdictions in the world, meaning that offshore firms formed there will not be subject to foreign capital gains taxes or income taxes.
4. Jordanian dinar
Symbol د.أ ; code: JOD
Exchange rate: 1.41 USD
Jordan's economy is categorized as both an emerging market economy and an emerging knowledge economy. Following the 2011 Arab Spring, the nation's economic growth has fallen to 2%. With a GDP of $44.4 billion as of 2019, Jordan is ranked 89th globally. Phosphates, potash and its fertilizer derivatives, tourism, overseas remittances, and international aid make up the bulk of Jordan's economic resource base. Jordan relies on natural gas for 93% of its domestic energy needs since it lacks commercially viable oil resources, huge expanses of economically viable forest, or coal reserves. There are several industrial zones in Jordan that produce commodities for the textile, aerospace, defense, ICT, pharmaceutical, and cosmetic industries.
Jordan's economy faces major challenges from limited water resources, a total reliance on imported oil, and unrest in the surrounding area. It was intended for the Jordanian dinar to be linked to the dollar in order to encourage US investment in Jordan through a stable exchange rate.
3. Omani rial
Symbol ر.ع. R.O. or ﷼; code: OMR
Exchange rate: 2.60 USD
OMR is the third-most-valuable currency unit in the world. US dollars are purchased by the Central Bank of Oman for 0.384 Omani rial and sold at 0.386 Omani rial. The oil industry dominates Oman's economy, with commerce and fishing taking place along the country's coasts. Petroleum accounts for 50% of GDP, 45% of government revenue, and 64% of all export earnings. The petroleum products sector is one of the most crucial in the Omani economy, making over half of the Sultanate of Oman's GDP.
The first plan for implementing Vision 2040, Oman's 10th five-year plan (2020–2025), concentrates its efforts on attaining economic diversification. Five industries with significant development potential and financial rewards have been identified as part of Oman's economic diversification strategy in an effort to wean the country off of income based on oil and gas. These include manufacturing, logistics and transportation, energy and mining, agriculture and fisheries, and tourism.
2. Bahraini dinar
Symbol: .د.ب or BD; code: BHD
Exchange rate: 2.65 USD
The biggest export of Bahrain's economy is refined petroleum, and it is largely dependent on oil and gas. Bahrain has made significant investments in the banking and tourist industries since the turn of the 20th century. There are numerous substantial financial institutions in Manama, the nation's capital. The financial sector in Bahrain is quite prosperous as well.
So what is the most expensive currency in the world, measured in USD?
1. Kuwaiti dinar
Symbol: د.ك or KD; code: KWD
Exchange rate: 3.26 USD
Which currency has the highest value? The Kuwaiti dinar does. A relatively small country located between Iraq and Saudi Arabia, Kuwait has a prosperous petroleum-based economy. By gross national income per person, Kuwait is the fifth-richest nation in the world, according to the World Bank. According to GDP per capita, Kuwait's economy is the 20th biggest in the world. Due to numerous diversification strategies, petroleum today contributes 70% of export revenue and 43% of the nation's overall GDP. The majority of countries rely on Kuwait to provide their oil needs; but, because they must pay in dinars to do so, the exchange rate is higher. The second-largest sector in Kuwait is steel-making.
In contrast to Nigeria and several other African countries, Kuwait uses the money it obtains from oil sales to grow its infrastructure and microeconomic sectors.
The economy of different countries undergoes rapid changes as a result of political news events and other developments. As a result, the specific order in which the highest currencies are ranked might also change. Traders should constantly recheck the list of the top 20 strongest currencies in the world.
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Each is feasible: while some countries may benefit from having a strong currency, others may do better with a weaker one, since the weaker currency helps their export business. These countries find it simpler to take considerable market shares as their products are much more affordable to buy. It may not always be the greatest line of action for boosting export revenue, though. Currencies like the Tanzanian shilling and the Nigerian naira are weaker as a result of the serious economic issues in their respective countries.
A currency can be affected by a wide range of circumstances. The government focuses on a few key economic variables, including current account balance, interest rates, economic growth, and inflation. The following factors determine the strength of one currency against another:
- Differentials in inflation.
- Differentials in interest rates.
- Current account deficits.
- Public debt.
- Terms of trade.
- Strong economic performance.
In truth, a variety of factors influence the exchange rate. Examples include how much the nation purchases and sells in terms of products and services on the global market, changes in the cost of imports and exports, and the evolution of the global and national economies. However, because exchange rates are relative, they fluctuate depending on the nation you're comparing them to at any particular time. Therefore, the exchange rate can be impacted by the economic circumstances and monetary policies (such as those pertaining to debt, interest rates, and inflation).
The US dollar is the most traded and the most used currency. Its widespread use is due to a variety of factors. First, the US has the biggest economy in the world and is a major player in global trade. As the main reserve currency the US dollar is kept by central and commercial banks and is estimated to account for about 58% of total currency reserves as of the fourth quarter of 2022.
Most investors view the Swiss franc (CHF), which is one of the safe-haven assets, the most stable currency in the world. This is because Switzerland is a neutral country with sound monetary policy, low levels of debt, and a neutral foreign policy.
The Iranian real is the worthless currency in the world as of March 2023. You can learn more about the weakest currencies in our article "Top 10 World’s Most Worthless Currencies".
When placing a transaction in the forex market, traders have a wide selection of currency pairings to pick from. Any pair of currencies that includes the USD, the legal tender of the world's largest economy at the moment, is referred to as a major currency pair. The most liquid and frequently traded currencies in the foreign exchange market are known as major pairs. The following six significant forex pairs are thought to be the most well-liked in the entire world:
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