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Which are the World’s Most Traded Currencies in 2024? 

In 2024, the landscape of global finance continues to be shaped by a group of currencies that dominate international trade and investment. These currencies are often referred to as the most traded in the world and play a vital role in the stability and functioning of the global economy. Every day, transactions worth trillions of dollars are facilitated by these most traded currencies. Let’s explore the most traded currencies worldwide and discover their history, evolution, and influence in current times.
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List of 8 Most Traded Currencies Worldwide

  • US Dollar (USD)
  • Euro (EUR) 
  • Japanese Yen (JPY)  
  • British Pound (GBP)  
  • Australian Dollar (AUD) 
  • Canadian Dollar (CAD)  
  • Swiss Franc (CHF)
  • Chinese Yuan (CNY)

1- US Dollar (USD)

The United States dollar has been the world’s most-traded currency for decades. Its history dates back to the early days of the United States, when the Founding Fathers sought to establish a national currency based on the Spanish silver dollar.

The United States dollar was first introduced to the public by the Coinage Act of 1792, which also established the United States Mint and defined the dollar as the basic unit of money.

At first, the dollar was exchanged for a certain amount of silver or gold since it was based on a bimetallic standard. This system remained in place until 1837 when the United States shifted to a gold standard. 

The Gold Standard Act of 1900 further solidified the dollar’s link to gold, with the value of the dollar being fixed at $20.67 per troy ounce of gold. The scheme persisted until 1934 when the dollar’s value was adjusted to $35 per troy ounce.

The dollar’s evolution in the global market has been marked by significant milestones. In 1971, the United States abandoned the gold standard and allowed the value of the dollar to float freely on the foreign exchange market. This move, known as the Nixon Shock, transformed the dollar from a commodity-backed currency to a fiat currency, with its value determined by supply and demand.

Today, the dollar’s influence in the global market is unprecedented. It serves as the primary reserve currency, held by governments worldwide for use in international trade. According to the Bank of International Settlements, the United States dollar represents about 88% of all forex trades. 

Every in-demand commodity such as gold and oil, is sold in dollars. This status has several benefits for the United States, including reduced risk of a balance of payments crisis and increased economic stability.

However, the dollar’s dominance also poses challenges to other economies. Over-reliance on the American currency can lead to instability in emerging markets, decrease trade flows, and create global spillovers. The dollar’s value can be influenced by various factors such as interest rates, inflation, and political stability.

In the upcoming years, the dollar may encounter several opportunities and challenges. The rise of digital currencies and the increasing prominence of the Chinese yuan as a global reserve currency could weaken the dollar’s dominance. 

Second, the United States’ reliance on the dollar as a tool of foreign policy, particularly in the context of sanctions, could lead to increased scrutiny and potentially even a decline in the dollar’s value.

On the other hand, the dollar’s continued influence in the global market is likely to be sustained by several structural factors. The United States’ deep and liquid capital markets, as well as its role as the world’s largest economy, will continue to attract foreign investment and drive demand for the dollar.

2- Euro (EUR) 

The Euro is the official currency of the European Union. It has been a significant player in the global financial landscape since its inception in 1999. As the second most widely traded currency globally, the euro has played a crucial role in shaping international economic relations and the global financial system’s stability and growth.

The Euro was introduced as a virtual currency on January 1, 1999, to create a single, unified economic and monetary union among the European Union’s member states. In 2024, 20 out of 27 EU member states use the euro for trade purposes. 

The currency was initially used in electronic transactions and was later replaced by physical notes and coins in 2002. The Euro’s creation was a significant step towards the European Union’s goal of creating a more integrated and unified economic space.

Since its introduction, the euro has evolved both in terms of its economic influence and its global role. Initially, the euro was seen as a competitor to the US dollar, but it has since become a complementary currency, often used in conjunction with the dollar in international transactions. 

The Euro’s influence extends beyond the European Union, with many countries maintaining significant reserves of the currency. The Euro’s stability and liquidity have made it an attractive choice for international investors, and it is often used as a reserve currency in central banks around the world.

Despite its significant influence, the Euro also faces several challenges in the coming years. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has led to significant economic uncertainty, and the Euro’s value has been affected by the resulting economic downturn. 

The European Union’s economic recovery is heavily dependent on the recovery of its largest trading partners, such as the United States and the United Kingdom.

However, the Euro also presents several opportunities for growth and development. The European Union’s economic recovery is expected to be driven by investments in digital infrastructure, renewable energy, and sustainable technologies. These investments will not only boost economic growth but also contribute to the development of a more sustainable global economy.

Read more: How Does Europe See America?

3- Japanese Yen (JPY)  

The Japanese Yen (JPY) is the third most widely traded currency globally. With a history dating back to 1871, the Yen has evolved through various stages and shaped its current status as one of the major players in the global economy.

The yen’s origins can be traced back to the monetary reforms of the late 19th century when Japan adopted a unified currency system. Initially pegged to gold and silver, the yen was designed to facilitate trade and economic growth. Over time, the yen’s value was linked to the US dollar in 1933, and later, it became a freely convertible currency in 1973.

Today, the yen is accounting for approximately 8.5% of the total trading volume. Its prominence is due to Japan’s economy and position as one of the world’s leading exporters. 

Strong economic indicators, such as GDP growth, often lead to an appreciation of the yen. The Bank of Japan’s (BoJ) monetary policy decisions also significantly impact the yen’s value, as they manage inflation, stimulate economic growth, and address currency volatility.

In recent years, the yen has experienced fluctuations, influenced by divergent monetary policies, global crises, and domestic factors. The currency’s depreciation in 2023 highlights Japan’s economic challenges and vulnerability to international market unpredictability. 

Despite these conditions, the yen remains an important world reserve currency, with central banks and international financial organizations purchasing it. The Yen’s strength is largely due to Japan’s consistently high balance of the current account, resulting in a huge investment resource. Japanese companies are among the most active investors globally, driven by massive revenues from exports.

4- British Pound (GBP)  

The history of the British Pound (GBP) dates back to the 8th century when it was used as a unit of account in England. Over the centuries, the pound has seen several transformations, including the introduction of the gold standard in the late 19th century and the abandonment of it during World War I. 

The pound was also pegged to the US dollar during the Bretton Woods system, which lasted from 1944 to 1971. Since then, the pound has been a free-floating currency, subject to the forces of supply and demand in the foreign exchange market.

In past years, the British Pound has evolved, particularly in the wake of the 2008 global financial crisis. The pound experienced a sharp decline in value against the US dollar, falling from a high of $2.05 in 2007 to a low of $1.35 in 2009. The UK’s economic problems, such as high inflation and a significant budget deficit, were a major factor in this decrease.

However, the pound has experienced a significant recovery due to the UK’s economic growth and the Bank of England’s monetary policy. The pound has also been influenced by the UK’s decision to leave the European Union (Brexit), which has led to increased volatility in the currency markets. 

In 2024, the British Pound is one of the most widely traded currencies in the world, with a significant impact on global financial markets. The pound is often used as a reserve currency, with many central banks holding it in their foreign exchange reserves. The pound is also widely used in international trade, particularly in the energy and commodities markets.

Despite its significant influence in the global market, the British Pound faces multiple challenges. One of the main challenges is the ongoing impact of Brexit, which has led to increased uncertainty in the currency markets. The pound’s value is also vulnerable to changes in global economic conditions, including the ongoing trade tensions between the US and China.
Read More: Factors Behind UK Pound’s Strength 

5- Australian Dollar (AUD) 

The AUD replaced the Australian pound in 1966 at a conversion rate of 2 AUD per Australian pound. Initially, the AUD was linked to the British pound, but in 1983, it transitioned to a floating exchange rate regime. The shift allowed the AUD to respond more dynamically to market conditions.

The AUD’s value is heavily influenced by a variety of factors, including interest rate differentials, commodity prices, economic performance, global economic conditions, geopolitical events, capital flows, and foreign exchange market interventions. 

As a major exporter of commodities, Australia’s currency often fluctuates with the global prices of resources like iron ore, coal, and natural gas. Higher commodity prices may potentially strengthen the AUD, while lower prices can lead to its depreciation.

From 2019 to 2023, the Australian dollar experienced a challenging environment that reflected the impact of both domestic and international variables on its performance relative to the US dollar. The currency also experienced a decline during the COVID-19 pandemic but as global markets recovered, the AUD also bounced back strongly.

The Reserve Bank of Australia’s monetary policy decisions, particularly interest rate changes, will continue to influence the AUD’s value. On the other hand, the AUD may face challenges from potential shifts in global economic conditions, trade tensions, and changes in commodity prices.

However, it also presents opportunities for investors and traders. The AUD’s strong correlation with commodity prices, particularly iron ore and coal, makes it an attractive option for those looking to capitalize on fluctuations in these markets.

6- Canadian Dollar (CAD)  

The Canadian dollar (CAD) has a fascinating history that reflects Canada’s economic development and its journey from a colony to a modern and stable nation. The currency’s evolution is deeply linked with the nation’s economic growth and global recognition. 

The Canadian dollar’s history dates back to the 17th century when European fur traders established trading posts in North America. With the British conquest of New France in 1763, the British pound became the official currency in Canada. 

The introduction of the Halifax Merchant’s Tokens in 1792 marked the first official Canadian currency, distinct from the British pound, and the establishment of the Province of Canada in 1841 laid the groundwork for the eventual creation of the Canadian dollar in 1867.

Canada adopted the gold standard in 1871, pegging its currency to gold, and introduced the first Canadian dollar banknotes. The establishment of the Bank of Canada in 1935 granted Canada more control over its monetary policy. 

The wealth of resources, steady economic growth, and responsible fiscal policies of Canada have made the Canadian dollar the sixth most traded currency in the world today. 

Canada’s status as a major exporter of commodities, especially oil, has earned the CAD the label of a petrocurrency (a currency of an oil-producing country that is heavily influenced by the price and export of oil).

7- Swiss Franc (CHF)

The Swiss Franc (CHF) is also known as the “Swissie”. It is famous for its stability, security, and a haven for investors seeking refuge from global economic turmoil. Interestingly, the CHF is the only franc still in circulation in Europe while other nations have adopted the euro.

The Swiss Franc’s reputation as a safe-haven currency is rooted in Switzerland’s political independence, low inflation, and strong rule of law. These factors, combined with the country’s neutral stance on foreign affairs and its Western approach to business, have contributed to the CHF’s stability and attractiveness to investors.

The CHF’s influence in the global market is significant, with it being the seventh most traded currency in the world. Despite its strengths, the Swiss Franc faces challenges that could impact its value and influence in the coming years. 

One of the primary concerns is the high value of the CHF, which makes foreign goods cheaper in Switzerland but renders Swiss exports and tourism more expensive. 

On the contrary, the CHF’s safe-haven status presents opportunities for growth and investment. During periods of political uncertainty and debt crises in the European Union or abroad, investors often turn to the CHF as a secure asset. The increased demand can drive up the value of the CHF.

Read More: Richest Countries In Europe

8- Chinese Yuan (CNY)

The Chinese Yuan (CNY) was introduced in the late 1800s. Initially, China operated with a fixed exchange rate system and linked its currency to other global currencies. However, in 2005, China transitioned to a floating exchange rate and allowed the Yuan to adjust its value based on market demand and supply.

Over the years, due to China’s efforts at globalization and economic expansion, the Chinese Yuan has become a growing player in the foreign exchange market. China’s inclusion in major global currency baskets, bilateral currency swaps, and trade settlement agreements have enhanced the credibility and acceptance of the Yuan as a global reserve currency. 

These efforts have led to increased trading of the Yuan in both onshore (CNY) and offshore (CNH) markets, with the currency being actively used in cross-border transactions and investments.

While the Yuan has become the eighth most traded currency globally, there are potential challenges ahead. The strict control by China’s central bank, capital controls limiting capital movement, and the currency’s trading range restrictions pose obstacles to its full potential. 

However, the Yuan’s increasing influence in the forex market, its role in challenging the dominance of the US Dollar, and the growing trend towards de-dollarization in international trade present numerous opportunities for the Yuan to further establish itself as a key player in the global currency market.

Read More: The Rise of China in the Solar Industry


The list of the world’s most traded currencies reflects their crucial roles in global finance and trade. The US dollar, representing about 88% of all forex trades, dominates international markets. The Euro, used by 20 EU member states, is crucial for European trade. The Japanese Yen, British Pound, Australian Dollar, Canadian Dollar, Swiss Franc, and Chinese Yuan also have regional and global influence. These currencies are essential for international transactions, investments, and economic stability across the globe. 


1- Which Currency is the Most Actively Traded in the World?

The United States dollar has been the world’s most widely traded currency for decades as it represents about 88% of all forex trades. 

2- What is the Strongest Currency in the World in 2024?

The strongest currency in the world in 2024 is the Kuwaiti Dinar (KWD), with 1 dinar equaling almost 3.26 US dollars. 

3- Which Currency is Most Safe?

The safest currencies are the Swiss franc, Norwegian krone, and Singapore dollar due to their political and economic stability.


Oleksandra Mamchii

Working as a academic lead at Best Diplomats.

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