10 Least Valuable Currencies in the World (Feb 2020)

10 Least Currencies in the World

Are you not a millionaire? That’s sad, but you can be, by converting some of your cash into the following countries’ currency – the least valuable currencies.

And if you have planned a trip to Zambabwe (before 2009), by carrying only $1 would be enough for you to have 250 trillion Zambabwean dollar – easy way to become Bill Gates of Zambabwe.

Easy? Isn’t it.

We have compiled a infographic list of 10 least valuable currencies in the world on the basis of their value relative to US Dollar (USD). Obsolete currencies, like Zambabwean Dollar and others, are not mentioned in ranking.

Economics behind money’s devaluation.

It is essential for us to know, why money losses its value?

It’s INFLATION that drops currency’s value like a falling stone.

Inflation arises when monetary system of a country become helpless to print more and more money to meet financial demand of public. Ultimately, leads to money devaluation.


Purchasing power – amount of tangible goods and actual services that money can buy – expressed the value of money.

(Purchasing power = Value of money)

Due to inflation, purchasing power of a currency decline – causing decline value in international markets.

Enough economics class for today now get ready to jump into the heaps of weakest money 😉

These are the 10 least valuable currencies in the world.

10) Cambodia: Cambodian Riel

Cambodian Riel Cambodia's Currency

Symbol: ៛ | Currency Code: KHR | ISO: 4217 | Coinage denomination: 50, 100, 200, and 500 riels | Banknotes denomination: 50, 100, 500, 1000, 2000, 5000, 10,000, 20,000, 50,000, 100,000 riels | Issuance: National Bank of Cambodia

Kingdom of Cambodia is located in Southeast Asia with the population of 15 million Buddhist. Due to corruption, civil war, and Vietnamese invasion, Cambodia has to face severe inflation, which leads country to economic chaos. After 2008 election and formation of a democratic government, Cambodia has been improving financial crisis.

9) Paraguay: Paraguayan Guarani

Paraguayan Gurani

Symbol: ₲ | Currency Code: PYG | ISO: 4217 | Coinage denomination: 50, 100, 500 & 1,000 guaranies | Banknotes denomination: 2,000, 5,000, 10,000, 20,000, 50,000, and 100,000 guaranies | Issuance: Banco Central del Paraguay

Republic of Paraguay is a landlocked nation located in central South America, sharing boarders with Brazil, Argentina, and Bolivia. Paraguay is agricultural based economy. Recently increased economy (4.4% yearly) as a result of agricultural goods export. Political instability results several important Paraguayan banks to shutdown in 1995, crisis still prevails today. As a result, Paraguay is only South American country falls in this list.

8) Sierra Leone: Sierra Leonean Leone

Sierra Leonean

Symbol: Le | Currency Code: SLL | ISO: 4217 | Coinage denomination: 10, 50, 100, and 500 leones | Banknotes denomination: 1,000, 2,000, 5,000, and 10,000 leones | Issuance: Bank of Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone located in West Africa, bordered by Atlantic Ocean. It is consider as least developed country by UN. Recently, it has gone through a deadliest civil war that ends in 2002 since then GDP gradually growing. However, in 1964, Bank of Sierra Leone introduced banknote replaced British West African Pound. Currently, 20,000 is largest banknote denomination, equivalent to $2.68 USD.

7) Uzbekistan: Uzbekistani Som

Uzbekistani Som

Currency Code: UZS | ISO: 4217 | Coinage denomination: 1, 5, 10, 25, 50, 100, and 500 som | Banknotes denomination: 1, 3, 5, 10, 25, 50, 100, 200, 500, 1000, 5000, 10,000, and 50,000 som | Issuance: Central Bank of the Republic of Uzbekistan

Uzbekistan is located in Central Asia recently got independence from Soviet Union in 1991. Until 1993 Uzbekistan uses Russian ruble then Som was introduced at the rate of $1 = 7 som. Furthermore, as in 2015, inflation in Uzbekistan reached at the level of 8.5%. And been increasing rapidly causes devaluate of its currency. After the death of long serving President Islam Karimov in 2016, new presidency took it currency to further devaluation. Recently, in 2017 som lost it’s half of its value in just one day due to Uzbek government’s crack down on black market. Currently, its largest denomination is 50,000 som.

6) Laos: Laotian Kip

Lao Kip Laos' Currency

Symbol: ₭ | Currency Code: LAK | ISO: 4217 | Coinage denomination: 10, 20,  and 50 att (1 att = 1/100 kip) | Banknotes denomination: 500, 1000, 2000, 5000, 10,000, 20,000, 50,000,  and 100,000 kips | Issuance: Bank of the Lao

Laos is landlocked nation located in Southeast Asia with population of 6.7 million. Laotian economy is among rapid growing economy in the world averaging 8%. However, Laos still counts as poorest country in Southeast Asia. Civil war and communist government is the reasons behind the fall of Laotian kip. Laos’ inflation can easily be seen by looking at its largest banknote denomination – 100,000 Laotian kip.

[Fact: 1] Laos bombed more than any country in the world relative to its population by USA. The New York Times stated that “nearly one ton bomb for every Laotian was bombed.”

5) Guinea: Guinean Franc

Guinean Franc

Symbol: FG | Currency Code: GNF | ISO: 4217 | Coinage denomination: 1, 5, 10, 25, and 50 francs | Banknotes denomination: 25, 50, 100, 500, 1000, 5000, 10,000, and 20,000 francs | Issuance: Central Bank of the Republic of Guinea

Guinea located in West Africa with the population approximately 12.9 million in 2016. Guinea is mineral rich country possess world’s largest reserve of bauxite – primary ore of aluminum – and largest high-grade iron ore. However, its people are among poorest in West Africa due to poor government policies. Political crisis and Ethnic tension worsen the situation of country’s economy. Ultimately, this all leads Guinea to failure in monetary system.

4) Indonesia: Indonesian Rupiah

Indonesian Rupiah

Symbol: Rp | Currency Code: IDR | ISO: 4217 | Coinage denomination: 100, 200, 500, 1,000 rupiahs | Banknotes denomination: 1,000, 2,000, 5,000, 10,000, 20,000, 50,000, and 100,000 rupiahs | Issuance: Bank Indonesia

Indonesia is located in Southeast Asia home of 261 million people make it world’s fourth populous country in the world. Indonesia is famous for two things: tourism – best tourist designation in the worlds according TTG Travel Award 2017, and economy – member of G20 (a group of most advanced and emerged economies). However, Indonesian rupiah is not as good as its economy. Rupiah drastically depreciated after Asian Financial Crisis in 1997 and still surviving. Recently, in March 2018 Rupiah is expected to strengthen.

[Fact 2] Indonesia – in this list of 10 least valuable currencies – is only nation having highest GDP and pollution along with least valuable currency.

[Fact: 3] Indonesia has largest Muslims population in the world approximately 202.9 million.

3) Sao Tome and Principe: Dobra

Sao Tomean Dobra

Symbol: Db | Currency Code: STN | ISO: 4217 | Coinage denomination: 10, 20, and 50 cêntimos; 1 and 2  dobras | Banknotes denomination: 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, and 200 dobras  | Issuance: Central Bank of Soa Tome and Principe

This is a small island nation located in Gulf of Guinea in Africa. Two islands Soa Tome and Principe formed a nation that is recognized as one of the Africa’s most stable and democratic country. Since independence its economy is largely dependent on cocoa corps, which is gradually declined in recent years due to mismanagement and drought. Sao Tome and Principe is a poor country having GDP of only 351.1 million in 2016. Since it is a Portuguese speaking country and found by Portugal as well, in 2009 Soa Tome and Principe signed a deal with Portugal to linking Dobra with Euro. In 2017 Sao Tome redenominated on the occasion of 25th anniversary of Central Bank. In a statement, the central bank said 1 new dobra would be equal to 1,000 of the old dobras. But still dobra is least valuable currencies in African continent.

2) Vietnam: Vietnamese Dong

Vietnamese Dong

Symbol: ₫ | Currency Code: VND | ISO: 4217 | Banknotes denomination: 100, 200, 500, 1,000, 2,000, 5,000, 10,000, 20,000, 50,000, 100,000, 200,000, 500,000 dongs  | Issuance: State Bank of Vietnam

Vietnam is highly populated country located in Southeast Asia and one of the emerging economy in the world as well. Vietnam has been transitioning from central planning economy to market economy since 1986. Resultantly, growth in economy at the rate of 6.2% in 2016. Civil War between North and South Vietnam was starting point of Dong’s devaluation. High Inflation in Vietnam changes the transaction systems. Thus, large industrial transaction are perform in “State Bank Statement Checks” in the denomination up to 5 million dong.

Don’t miss this either: 10 Highest Valuable Currencies in the World

1) Iran: Iranian Rial

Iranian Rial is Least Valuable Currency in the World

Symbol: ﷼ | Currency Code: IRR | ISO: 4217 | Coinage denomination: 50, 100, 250, 500, 1,000, 2,000, 5,000 rials | Banknotes denomination: 100, 200, 500, 1000, 2,000, 5,000, 10,000, 20,000, 50,000, and 100,000 rials  | Issuance: Central Bank of Islamic Republic of Iran

Islamic Republic of Iran came into being after Shah Reza monarchy overthrown in 1979. Since then Iran has been in the eye of US and fought war with US Navy as well. Not-so-good diplomatic ties with USA sow the seeds of high inflation that cause the fall of Iranian Rial. At present, Iran has one of the highest inflation rate – 9.9% in 2017 – in the world. Iran’s economy highly rely on oil reserves as country has fourth largest oil reserve in the world – 150 billion barrels. The determinants behind Iranian Rial fall must be, 2 oil shocks, dependency of Iran’s economy on oil, and eight-year war with Iraq. Under these circumstances, Iranian Rial is on the top of the least valuable currencies in the world.


It can be seen in whole list that a good economy and GDP can’t guarantee a valuable currency. Banking systems, monetary system, and government’s financial credibility makes money stronger and valuable.

Note: All the values given above can fluctuates due to increase or decrease in inflation. Values may not exactly match in near future. The article was updated on 5th March, 2018.

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