Top 10 Weakest Currencies In The World In 2023

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What is the weakest currency in the world?

The US dollar is generally seen as the most powerful currency, and it is certainly the most traded by some margin.

While the greenback may not be the world’s strongest currency (those bragging rights go to the Kuwaiti dinar), it’s near the top of the 180 or so traditional fiat currencies recognized as legal tender around the world.

At the other end of the scale, the weakest currencies trade in tiny fractions of a dollar. And some currencies require tens of thousands of units to buy just $1.

Let’s take a look at the top 10 weakest currencies in the world, based on their relative value against the US dollar.

What about the price of foreign currency?

Foreign currencies are traded in pairs, for example, buying US dollars with British pounds. As a result, a currency is always priced relative to another currency, known as the ‘exchange rate’.

Most currencies are ‘floating’, meaning their value changes depending on demand and supply. However, some currencies are ‘pegged’, which means their value relative to another currency (such as the US dollar) is fixed at an agreed rate.

Exchange rates affect the value of goods and services in a foreign currency. For example, if the pound strengthens against the dollar, a holiday in the US will cost less in sterling terms.

However, exchange rate movements also create opportunity for investors looking to profit from foreign exchange trading. We’ve created a guide that explains the basics of foreign exchange movements, along with our pick of the best forex brokers.

Remember that any form of market-based investment or speculation puts all your capital at risk. Investments can go up and down in value, so you could lose some or all of your money. Leveraged products such as contracts for difference are highly speculative and carry the added risk of losing money beyond what was originally at stake.

What are the top 10 weakest currencies?

We analyzed the weakest currencies, based on the number of foreign currency units received in exchange for one US dollar. Exchange rates are derived from our currency converter, based on data from Open Exchange at the time of writing.

Here are the top 10 weakest currencies:

1. Iranian rial (IRR)

The Iranian rial is the weakest currency in the world, with 1 rial buying only 0.000024 US dollars (or, to put it another way, $1 equals 42,273 Iranian rials).

The Iranian rial was first introduced in the late 1700s. It was later pegged to the British pound, followed by the US dollar. Although now free-floating, the currency has remained at around 42,000 rials to the dollar for the past few years.

Iran is located on the Persian Gulf between Iraq and Afghanistan and is a leading global exporter of oil and natural gas. However, economic sanctions have put pressure on Iran’s currency, along with political unrest and high inflation.

2. Vietnamese dong (VND)

The Vietnamese dong is the second weakest currency in the world with 1 dong buying 0.000042 US dollars (or $1 equals 23,711 Vietnamese dongs). The dong entered circulation in 1978 and has a ‘crawling peg’ against the US dollar (meaning it can change gradually over time).

Vietnam borders the South China Sea, with China, Laos and Cambodia as neighbors. Services account for the largest proportion of gross domestic product (GDP), followed by industries such as electronics, energy and textiles.

Vietnam’s currency has been weakened by restrictions on foreign investment and a recent slowdown in exports, along with rising interest rates in the US.

3. Laotian kip (LAK)

The Laotian or Lao kip is the third weakest currency, with 1 kip buying 0.000052 dollars (or $1 equals 19,072 Lao kips). The kip was introduced in the 1950s and is free-floating.

Laos is a land-locked country between Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia and China, and relies heavily on exports such as copper, gold and timber.

The country has been hit by sluggish economic growth, rising foreign debt and high inflation, which has put pressure on its currency.

4. Sierra Leonean leone (SLL)

The Sierra Leonean leone is the fourth weakest currency in the world, with 1 leone buying 0.000057 dollars (or $1 equals 17,665 Sierra Leone leones). The currency was first introduced in 1964 and is free-floating.

Sierra Leone is in West Africa and borders Guinea and Liberia. Major exports include timber and minerals such as diamonds, gold and industrial metals.

The value of the leone has been dragged down by inflation of more than 40%, along with huge debt, a slowdown in economic growth and the long-term effects of the Ebola outbreak.

5. Indonesian rupiah (IDR)

The Indonesian rupiah is the fifth weakest currency in the world with 1 rupiah buying 0.000067 US dollars (or $1 equals 14,993 Indonesian rupiahs). The rupiah was introduced in 1946 and was initially pegged to the US dollar before moving to a free-float.

Indonesia consists of over 17,000 islands in the Pacific, including Java, Sumatra and parts of Borneo and New Guinea.

It is the largest country in Southeast Asia by GDP, thanks to its service sector, and the country is also rich in commodities. However, the rupiah fell against other currencies due to high inflation and recession fears.

6. Lebanese pound (LBP)

The Lebanese pound is the sixth weakest currency in the world with 1 pound buying 0.000067 US dollars (or $1 equals 14,986 Lebanese pounds). The pound was first introduced in the 1930s and is pegged to the US dollar.

Lebanon borders the Mediterranean Sea, as well as Israel and Syria. It has a service-based economy but also exports precious stones and metals, chemical products and food and beverages.

The Lebanese pound fell to a record low against the US dollar in early 2021, due to a deeply depressed economy, high inflation and unemployment, a banking crisis and political unrest.

7. Uzbekistan som (UZS)

The Uzbekistani som is the seventh weakest currency in the world with 1 som buying 0.000087 dollars (or $1 equals 11,516 Uzbekistani som). It was introduced in 1993 and is free-floating.

Uzbekistan is a former republic of the Soviet Union and is located in Central Asia. It is one of the world’s leading exporters of cotton and has large mineral and oil and gas reserves.

The country is implementing economic reforms but continues to struggle with low economic growth, high inflation and unemployment and corruption.

8. Guinean franc (GNF)

The Guinean franc is the eighth weakest currency in the world with 1 franc buying 0.000116 dollars (or $1 equals 8,583 Guinean francs). The currency was introduced in 1959 and is freely floating.

Guinea is a former French colony in sub-Saharan Africa. It has abundant natural resources such as gold and diamonds but has struggled with high inflation, military unrest and an influx of refugees from neighboring Liberia and Sierra Leone.

9. Paraguayan Guarani (PYG)

The Paraguayan guarani is the ninth weakest currency, with 1 guarani buying 0.000138 dollars (or $1 equals 7,249 Paraguayan guaranis). It was introduced in 1952 and is free-floating.

Paraguay is landlocked and borders Brazil, Argentina and Bolivia. The country is a leading producer of soybean, stevia (sugar substitute) and beef, as well as exporting corn and sugarcane.

However, its currency is under pressure from high inflation, corruption and counterfeit money.

10. Ugandan shilling (UGX)

Last on the list is the Ugandan shilling, with 1 shilling buying 0.000273 dollars (or $1 equals 3,669 Ugandan shillings). It was first released in 1966 and is free-floating.

Uganda is a land-locked country in East Africa, bordering Kenya, South Sudan, Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The country is rich in commodities such as oil, gold and coffee but its economy has been plagued by unstable economic growth, high debt and political unrest.

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