A List Of Top 20 Most Traded Currencies Of The World

1. United States Dollar – USD (US$)

United States Dollar 1995
United States Dollar – 1995 $1 Banknote

Also known as the American dollar or U.S. dollar is the official currency of the United States and all its territories. The currency was established in the Coinage Act or 1792. In addition to the dollar, a half dollar, quarter dollar coins, and the dime, nickel, and penny, Congress has introduced a number of paper money since 1913. For instance, in 1913, the Federal Reserve Act introduced and authorized Federal Reserve Note.

Additionally, Congress has discontinued the issuance of certain forms of currencies. In 1971, the U.S. Notes, leaving the Federal Reserve Notes as the main paper money circulating. This move converted the U.S. currency into a de factor fiat money. You cannot convert the paper U.S. currency into any precious metals directly.

2. Euro – EUR (€)

Euro - 2019 €200 Banknote
Euro – 2019 €200 Banknote

The Euro is the official currency for the Eurozone (also known as euro area) member countries of the European Union. Four other European microstates that are not members of the E.U – Kosovo, Montenegro, Dhekelia, and Akrotiri – use the euro as their official currency. As such, the euro is the official currency for 19 of the 27 member states.

As such, more than 343 million people use the euro as their currency. Additionally, more than 200 people use currencies pegged on the euro. After the U.S. dollar, the euro is the second largest reserve currency, the second-largest currency, and the second most-traded currency in the global foreign exchange market.

The euro was first adopted in 1995 in Madrid and it was introduced as an accounting currency to the global financial market on January 1st, 1999. The euro replaced the European Currency Unit (EVU).

3. Japanese Yen – JPY (¥)

Japanese Yen -  2004  ¥10000 Banknote
Japanese Yen – 2004 ¥10000 Banknote

The Japanese yen is the official currency of and in Japan. The yen is the 3rd most traded currency after the U.S. dollar & the euro. Additionally, it is one of the most popular currencies used as a reserve currency in the world. The word yen means ‘a round object’ and was introduced under Meiji’s government as part of the modernization program.

The yen was introduced in 1871 by The New Currency Act as a new decimal currency, doing away with the hansatsu currencies issued by the various feudal fiefs. The currency was pegged to precious metal and 1 yen was defined 1.5g of gold or 24.26g of silver. In 1882, the Bank of Japan was founded to control the supply of money.

4. Pound Sterling – GBP (£)

Pound Sterling - 2019 £20 note
Pound Sterling – 2019 £20 note

The pound sterling, is the official currency of the U.K., Isle of Man. South Georgia, Guernsey, the British Antarctic Territory, South Sandwich Islands, and Tristan da Cunha. The British Crown dependencies of Jersey, Isle of Man, and Guernsey produce their local issues of sterling which are considered equivalent to the Sterling Pound.

The Sterling Pound is controlled by the Bank Of England which is responsible for the issuance of the banknotes in England as well as controlling the issuance of the currency by private banks in Northern Ireland and Scotland.

The sterling pound is the fourth most-traded currency in the forex market. The sterling pound can trace its origins in as far back as the mid 700 A.D when King Offa of Mercia introduced the silver penny. The Bank of England was established in 1694 and started to issue paper money. Aside from being one of the oldest currencies in circulation today, the sterling is also one of the basket currencies.

The currency was once pegged to precious metals (gold and silver) but it is currently fiat money.

5. Australian Dollar – AUD (A$)

Australian Dollar - A$50 Banknote
Australian Dollar – A$50 Banknote

This is Australia’s official currency. The currency is used in mainland Australia and in all its territories, including Cocos, Christmas Island, Pacific Island States, and Tuvalu. The currency was has been used in Papua New Guinea and in the Solomon Islands as the official currencies until these countries introduced their legal tenders – the Kina in 1975 and the Solomon Islands dollar in 1977 respectively. The Australian was introduced on 14 February 1966 and replaced the pre-decimal pound.

This currency is popular in the forex market. It is generally the fifth most traded currency a great portfolio diversification currency when holding currencies. For forex traders, the stability of Australia’s political system, economy, and the comparatively high-interest rates make the Australian dollar an attractive currency.

6. Canadian Dollar – CAD (C$)

Canadian Dollar - C$50 Banknote
Canadian Dollar – C$50 Banknote

Informally known as the loonie or the huard, the Canadian dollar is the fifth most held currency in the foreign currency front. It accounts for about 2% of all global reserves. Canada’s strong and stable economy, a stable political system, and a strong sovereign position makes the Canadian dollar a popular reserve currency for central banks.

While the Canadian dollar is the official currency in Canada, one can reject the banknotes issued by the Bank of Canada without breaking the law. Legal guidelines stipulate that the method of payment has to be mutually agreed upon by all parties.

7. Swiss Franc – CHF (CHF)

Swiss Franc - CHF50 Banknote
Swiss Franc – CHF50 Banknote

The Swiss franc is the only franc used in Europe. It is the official currency of Switzerland and Liechtenstein. The currency is also in Campione d’Italia. Swissmint, which is the Federal mint issues coins, while Swiss National Bank issues banknotes. Like all the major currencies in the world, the franc is a decimal currency; it is subdivided into 100 centimes.

8. Renminbi – CNY (元)

Chinese Renminbi - [1999] ¥100 Yuan Banknote
Chinese Renminbi – [1999] ¥100 Yuan Banknote

When translated, Renmindi literally translates to people’s currency. It is China’s official currency and it is issued by People’s Bank of China. While term yuan is generally used to refer to also refer to the Renminbi, yuan is the basic unit of the Renminbi. One yuan is subdivided into ten jiao and the jiao is subdivided into ten fren.

Owing to the rapid internationalization of this currency since the mid-2000s, the Renminbi has become one of the most traded currencies in the world. As of 2019, it was the 6th most traded currency in the world. In 2019, the PBOC announced the introduction of a digital Renminbi, the Digital Currency Electronic Payment. The cryptocurrency-based currency can be decoupled from the banking system for use by tourists to experience China’s budding cashless payment systems.

9. Hong Kong Dollar – HKD (HK$)

Hong Kong Dollar - HK$500 Banknote
Hong Kong Dollar – HK$500 Banknote

The Hong Kong dollar is the official currency of the Special Administration Region of Hong Kong. The currency is controlled by The Hong Kong Monetary Authority, which functions as the de facto central bank for the region. The currency is popular in the global market, and as of 2019, the currency Hong Kong dollar is the 9th most traded currency in the foreign exchange market.

Three commercial banks in Hong Kong, including Bank of China, HSBC, and Standard Chartered have been licensed to issue banknotes. The banknotes of the same denomination have similar designs.

10. New Zealand Dollar – NZD (NZ$)

New Zealand Dollar - $20 Banknote
New Zealand Dollar – $20 Banknote

The New Zealand Dollar is the legal tender and official currency of New Zealand, Ross Dependency, Tokelau, Niue, Cook Island, and the Pitcairn Islands. The currency is colloquially called the Kiwi dollar or just the Kiwi in the forex market. this currency is a decimal currency and was introduced in 1967. The currency is a strong performer in the foreign exchange market. The New Zealand dollar is consistently among the top 10 most traded currencies in the forex market. In 2016, daily turn over of the New Zealand dollar in the global forex market was 2.1%, despite having a relatively small population.

11. Swedish Krona – SEK (kr)

Swedish Krona - CHF1000 Banknote
Swedish Krona – CHF1000 Banknote

This is Sweden’s official currency. Since the word Krona means crown in English, the currency is also known as the Swedish crown in some quotas. Krona is a decimal currency with one krona being subdivided to one hundred ören (a word derived from the Latin word for gold).

On the global foreign market, the krona is a popular currency. In 2016, it was the 9th most traded currency. In 2019, however, the currency slipped to number 11 with 2% of the daily trades.

12. South Korean Won – KRW (₩)

South Korean Won - KRW1000 Banknote
South Korean Won – KRW1000 Banknote

The won is South Korea’s official currency. It is a decimal currency, with one won being divided to 100 jeon. The Bank of Korea has responsibility for the issuance and control over the currency. The won had been used as the currency in Korea before colonization. During the colonial periods in the Korean peninsula, from 19010 to 1945, the Korean yen. However, South Korea reverted to the won after independence in 1962.

As of 2019, the won represented 2.0% of the daily currency trades.

13. Singapore Dollar – SGD (S$)

Singapore Dollar - S$50 Banknote
Singapore Dollar – S$50 Banknote

This is Singapore’s official currency. The currency is also accepted in Brunei owing to the Currency Interchangeability Agreement between the Monetary Authority of Brunei Darussalam and the Monetary Authority of Singapore. The Monetary Authority of Singapore charged with the responsibility of issuing the Singapore banknotes and coins. The Singapore dollar is a decimal currency with one dollar divided into 100 cents.

The Singapore dollar is consistently among the top 20 most traded currencies. In 2019, it was the 13th most traded currency with 1.8% of the daily trades.

14. Norwegian Krone – NOK (kr)

Norwegian Krone - kr50 Banknote
Norwegian Krone – kr50 Banknote

The Norwegian krone is the official currency of Norway. It is also the official currency in all of Norway’s dependent territories. As a decimal currency, it one krone divided into 100 100 øre. The first krone was introduced in 1875 when Norway joined the Scandinavian Monetary Union consisting of Norway, Denmark, and Sweden. However, even after the desolation of The Union in 1914, Norway still retained the name kroon in their currency, hence the currency name Norwegian Krone.

In 2019, it was the 13th most traded currency representing 1.8% of forex trades.

15. Mexican Peso – MXN ($)

Mexican Peso - 500$ Banknote
Mexican Peso – 500$ Banknote

Just like the U.S dollar, the Mexican peso has its origins from the Spanish dollar that was in between the 15th to the 19th century. The currency is consistently among the most traded currencies in the owl. It is the most traded currency in Latin America and the 3rd most traded currency in America.

16. Indian Rupee – INR (₹)

Indian Rupee - ₹ 200 Banknote
Indian Rupee – ₹ 200 Banknote

The Ruppe is India’s official currency. As a decimal currency, it is divided into 100 paise. The Reserve Bank of India (established under the 1934 Reserve Bank Of India Act) is charged with the responsibility of issuing the currency. The currency sign for the ruppe – ₹ – was adopted in 2010, replacing the use of Rs and Re.

The rupee is the top 20 among the most traded currencies in the world, with rupee trades representing 1.7% of all currency trades in the world.

17. Russian Ruble – RUB (₽)

Russian Ruble - 200 RUB Banknote
Russian Ruble – 200 RUB Banknote

The Russian ruble is the Russian Federation’s official currency. Additionally, the currency is also used in Abkhazia, South Ossetia, Donetsk, and Luhansk. Like all the major world currencies in the world, the ruble is a decimal currency. One ruble is subdivided into 100 kopeks.

The ruble has its origins in the Soviet Union, with the Russian ruble replacing the Soviet ruble after the latter’s collapse. In 2019, trades in Russian ruble represented 1.1% of all the global currency trades.

18. South African Rand – ZAR (R)

South African Rand - 20R Banknote
South African Rand – 20R Banknote

This is South Africa’s official currency. It is also a legal tender in the Common Monetary Area that consists of South Africa, Lesotho, Namibia, and Eswatini. The currency was first introduced to South Africa when it was in the Union Of South Africa in 1961 and replaced the South African Pound.

In 2019, the South African Rand forex trades presented 1.1% of the currency global trades.

19. Turkish Lira – TRY (₺)

Turkish Lira - 50₺ Banknote
Turkish Lira – 50₺ Banknote

The Lira is the official currency in both Turkey and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. The currency has its roots in the ancient Roman weight unit by the same name. among the earliest predecessors of the currency is the Ottoman Lira, which was introduced in 1844. The Turkish Lira replaced the Ottoman after 1927.

The trades in Lira in 2019 resented 1.1% of global currency trades.

20. Brazilian Real – BRL (R$)

Brazilian Real - 50 R$ Banknote
Brazilian Real – 50 R$ Banknote

The Real is Brazil’s official currency. The Real was introduced by the Central Bank of Brazil in 1995 to replace the Brazilian cruzeiro. It is a decimal currency and 1 real is divided into 100 centavos.

The real is the 19th most traded currency in the world. In 2019, trades in the real represented 1.1% of all currency trades.

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