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Top 10 Worst Currencies in the World in 2024

While the US dollar, euro, and other major currencies are widely known and used globally, many lesser-known currencies are struggling with severe devaluation. These currencies, often referred to as the “weakest” or “least valued” currencies in the world, are typically found in countries facing significant economic challenges.

The projected valuation of the worldwide foreign exchange market is $516.48 billion between 2023 and 2028. A compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10.31% is expected to propel the market’s expansion. Reporting dealers contribute liquidity throughout the day, which affects the turnover of the global foreign exchange market. At their predetermined prices, these traders purchase and sell foreign money, keeping a constant price list in place all day. Future projections for the market are influenced by this, which also affects the daily forex market cap. The trend toward increased urbanization and digitization is a major driver of the foreign exchange market’s growth. These elements are changing the structure of the foreign exchange market, with digital technology having an impact on access to currency markets and trading strategies.

Also Read: Most Valuable Currencies in World

List of World’s 10 Worst Currencies

  1. Lebanese Pound
  2. Iranian Rial
  3. Vietnamese Dong
  4. Sierra Leonean Leones
  5. Laotian Kip
  6. Indonesian Rupiah
  7. Syrian Pound
  8. Uzbekistan Sum
  9. Guinean Franc
  10. Paraguayan Guarani

1. Lebanese Pound (LBP)

The Lebanese pound has been in a state of freefall, with 1 pound currently buying only 0.000067 US dollars. This dramatic devaluation is a result of Lebanon’s deeply depressed economy, which has been plagued by high unemployment, a severe banking crisis, political instability, and soaring inflation rates exceeding 200%. The country’s economic woes can be traced back to the 2019 financial crisis, which was exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and the devastating Beirut port explosion in 2020. The collapse of the Lebanese pound has had a devastating impact on the purchasing power of the population, with many struggling to afford basic necessities.

The Lebanese Pound (LBP) is susceptible to fluctuations in the world economy, as evidenced by the considerable impact of foreign political and economic events. During times of economic instability, both locally and worldwide, this link was crucially apparent. These included the dynamics of international commerce, the causes and consequences of hyperinflation, and geopolitical uncertainty. The Lebanese Pound was severely damaged by the world of Hyperinflation. The nation’s currency depreciated as a result of the financial crisis, which followed protracted hostilities and monetary policy errors.

2. Iranian Rial (IRR)

The Iranian rial is widely regarded as the world’s least valuable currency, with 1 US dollar exchanging for approximately 42,225 IRR on the black market. The rial’s downward spiral began in 1979 following the Islamic Revolution, which led to political instability, economic sanctions, and the emergence of a thriving black currency market. Hyperinflation, high unemployment, and a lack of foreign investment have all contributed to the rial’s continued devaluation over the past four decades.

Iran’s leadership came to a nuclear agreement with the United States, France, the United Kingdom, China, Russia, and Germany in 2015. The goal of this deal was to lessen Iran’s sanctions. Consequently, the state of affairs improved, which brought about the local currency in Iran to stabilise. In 2018, the United States asserted that Iran was moving forward with its nuclear program. The country’s access to global commodities markets was restricted by the tightening of the sanctions. Iran’s petroleum exports, which accounted for around 69% of its yearly income, were no longer possible. It caused a significant imbalance in the country’s budget. Metallurgy and petrochemistry were among the other industries that were subject to the restrictions.

3. Vietnamese Dong (VND)

Ranking third among the weakest currencies, the Vietnamese dong exchanges at a rate of 25,438 VND to 1 US dollar. Despite Vietnam’s impressive economic progress in recent decades, the country’s currency remains vulnerable due to high inflation rates and its heavy reliance on exports. The Vietnamese government has attempted to stabilize the dong through various measures, including adjusting exchange rate policies and implementing tighter monetary policies, but the currency continues to struggle against the US dollar.

A number of variables, such as interest rates, inflation rates, economic growth, and export-import activity, affect the value of the Vietnamese Dong. For example, the value of the Vietnamese Dong (VND) relative to other major currencies may decline if Vietnam has severe inflation. On the other hand, if the nation’s economy is expanding steadily and draws in outside capital, the value of the VND may rise.

4. Sierra Leonean Leones (SLE)

The Sierra Leonean leone is the fourth weakest currency, with 1 US dollar equal to approximately 20,000 SLE. Sierra Leone’s economy has been plagued by a range of challenges, including high inflation, widespread poverty, and a lack of economic diversification. The country’s reliance on primary commodities, such as diamonds and agriculture, has made its currency susceptible to fluctuations in global market prices.

Sierra Leone’s economy is plagued by consistently high inflation. The result is that the leone is among the weakest currencies in the world. The leone decreased in value from $0.00025 to $0.0001 USD per leone between June 2016 and December 2020. Being among the world’s poorest countries, Sierra Leone is mostly dependent on foreign assistance. Approximately 57% of people in Sierra Leone live below the poverty level, according to the UN Development Program. A downturn in economic growth, which registered 3.7% in 2018 compared with 21% in 2015, made poverty worse.

5. Laotian Kip (LAK)

The Laotian kip is the fifth weakest currency, with 1 US dollar equivalent to 21,451.14 LAK. Laos’ economy is heavily dependent on agriculture and natural resources, which has made the kip vulnerable to global commodity price changes. Additionally, the country’s limited economic diversification and high inflation rates have contributed to the kip’s ongoing devaluation.

The Lao Kip has been extremely volatile in recent years, fluctuating in value between 5% and 15% compared to other currencies like the US dollar and the euro. Although this volatility might present traders with opportunities to benefit from currency swings, it can also put those who are unprepared at serious danger. Over time, the Lao Kip is expected to become more stable as the nation’s economy continues to grow and diversify.

Read more, World’s Most Traded Currencies

6. Indonesian Rupiah (IDR)

The Indonesian rupiah has consistently performed poorly, with 1 US dollar equal to 16,231 IDR. The rupiah’s devaluation can be attributed to a range of factors, including Indonesia’s shrinking foreign exchange reserves, the risk of capital outflows, and it’s heavy reliance on commodity exports. The country’s economic growth has also been hampered by political instability and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Southeast Asian nation of Indonesia is fairly developed and has a steady economy. Its currency, however, has a relatively poor exchange rate. The nation’s regulatory bodies are doing all in their power to support the value of the currency, but their efforts have only had a minimal impact.

7. Syrian Pound (SYP)

The Syrian pound has been severely affected by the country’s ongoing civil war, leading to a significant devaluation of the currency. One USD equals 2,512.53 Syrian pounds, making it one of the weakest currencies in the world. The conflict has devastated Syria’s economy, disrupting trade, investment, and access to foreign currency, all of which have contributed to the pound’s decline.

As the Western nations strengthened sanctions against Damascus, the value of the Syrian pound started to decline. The pound was also impacted by the decline in remittances, and many Syrians began purchasing dollars in order to protect their investments.

8. Uzbekistan Sum (UZS)

The Uzbekistan sum is the eighth weakest currency, with 1 US dollar equal to 12,590 UZS. Uzbekistan’s economy has been slow to recover from the Soviet era, with high inflation, unemployment, and corruption all contributing to the devaluation of the sum. The country’s reliance on commodity exports and limited economic diversification have also made its currency vulnerable to external shocks.

The United States Dollar (USD) and the UZS had a fixed exchange rate at first. But the Uzbek Central Bank introduced a controlled floating exchange rate mechanism in September 2017, letting the UZS adjust in response to external market factors. The Uzbekistan Sum has gone through bouts of depreciation and inflation over time. The Uzbek government has taken action to encourage economic expansion and stabilize the currency. 

9. Guinean Franc (GNF)

The Guinean franc is the ninth weakest currency, with 1 US dollar equal to 8,579 GNF. Guinea’s economy is rich in natural resources, including bauxite, gold, and diamonds, but the country’s high inflation rate, widespread poverty, and lack of economic diversification have led to the franc’s devaluation. Political instability and corruption have also been significant factors in the franc’s decline.

The exchange rates of Guinea Francs significantly declined as a result of this incapacity to control inflation. Devaluation brought forth by severe economic difficulties caused the Guinea Franc to lose its previous strength and parity with the French Franc. In 1985, the Guinea Franc underwent a new denominational structure as a result of economic restructuring. New notes were introduced at this time in an attempt to restore economic stability. However, due to political turbulence, military control, and the accompanying civil disturbance, the GNF exchange rate continued to swing greatly. The GNF’s purchasing power was severely impacted by the ongoing currency depreciation despite several attempts at economic intervention.

10. Paraguayan Guarani (PYG)

The Paraguayan guarani is the tenth weakest currency, with 1 US dollar valued at 7,280 PYG. Paraguay’s economy has been affected by a range of challenges, including high inflation, corruption, low education quality, and high unemployment. These factors have all contributed to the Guarani’s devaluation over time, making it one of the least valuable currencies in the world.

Also Read: Factors Contributing To The Fall Of Pakistani Rupee

World Currencies vs the USD

Currencies are often compared to the US dollar (USD) for several reasons:

The US dollar is the world’s most widely traded and held currency, serving as the primary medium of exchange in international transactions, including trade, investments, and financial markets. Due to its global dominance, the US dollar is considered a benchmark currency, and its exchange rate is closely monitored by governments, central banks, and market participants worldwide.

Comparing currencies to the US dollar provides a common reference point for assessing the relative strength and purchasing power of different currencies. This comparison allows for easy conversion of prices, costs, and values across borders, facilitating international trade, investment, and financial analysis. Moreover, the US dollar is the most liquid currency, meaning it can be easily converted into other currencies or assets without significant price changes. This liquidity makes the US dollar an attractive store of value and a safe haven during times of economic uncertainty or currency crises.

By comparing currencies to the US dollar, analysts and investors can gauge the competitiveness of a country’s exports, the purchasing power of its citizens, and the overall health of its economy. This comparison also helps in understanding the impact of exchange rate fluctuations on a country’s economic performance and its ability to service foreign debt denominated in US dollars. The widespread use of the US dollar as a global currency, its liquidity, and its role as a benchmark makes it the primary reference point for comparing and assessing the value of other currencies in the international financial system.

Also Read: Largest Economies In The World


The world’s weakest currencies are often a reflection of the significant economic challenges faced by their respective countries, stemming from political instability, high inflation rates, and limited access to foreign currencies, all of which contribute to currency devaluation. Political turmoil can lead to economic disruptions and reduced investor confidence, making a country’s currency less desirable. 

High inflation erodes the purchasing power of a currency, both domestically and internationally, creating a vicious cycle of devaluation and economic instability. Restricted access to foreign exchange reserves or economic sanctions can make it difficult for countries to maintain the value of their currencies and engage in international trade and finance. 

Understanding these factors is crucial for investors and policymakers to gain insights into a country’s economic prospects and make informed decisions. 


What is the Weakest Currency in the World?

The Iranian rial is currently considered the weakest currency in the world, with 1 USD equal to approximately 514,000 IRR on the black market rate.

What are the Main Factors contributing to Currency Devaluation?

The main factors contributing to currency devaluation include political instability, high inflation rates, a lack of economic diversification, and limited access to foreign currencies.

How do Economic Sanctions affect a Country’s Currency?

Economic sanctions can lead to a significant devaluation of a country’s currency by limiting its access to foreign currencies and increasing the cost of imports.

Can a Weak Currency Benefit a Country’s Exports?

A weak currency can make a country’s exports more competitive in the global market by lowering their prices. However, this benefit may be offset by increased costs of imported goods and inflation.

How do Currency Crises Affect a Country’s Economy?

Currency crises can lead to economic turmoil, capital flight, inflation, unemployment, and a decline in living standards. They can also erode investor confidence and hinder economic growth.

Oleksandra Mamchii

Working as a academic lead at Best Diplomats.

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