Currency codes

There are a lot of currencies in use in the world today, and many of them are traded in the forex market. Given how cumbersome writing the name of each currency in full can be, the forex market adopted the use of codes to represent the currencies being traded. But how did these currency codes come into play? what is their origin? These and other questions will be answered in this post.

What are currencies

According to Wikipedia, a currency is any instrument or vehicle that serves as a medium of exchange for goods and services. It is most commonly in the form of banknotes and coins. It is generally accepted as a legal tender in the particular region in which it is in use and its supply is controlled by the government. Basically, a currency is money. With globalization, currencies of different jurisdictions have come to be exchanged for one another due to trade and financial investment giving rise to the forex market.

Humans did not always use currencies for transactions, rather in the early times, barter was the means through which trades were made. With the progression of time, money started to evolve and over the about 3,000 years in which there has been some form of money in use different monetary systems have been in use. These monetary systems are: commodity money, representative money, and fiat money.

The system currently in use around the world is the fiat system, where the value of the currency is not intrinsic (true value) but rather extrinsic (perceived value).

Finally, there are codes for precious metals that are formed by adding the element’s chemical symbol to an “X” prefix. Other currencies that use X are mostly “supranational currencies”.

What are currency codes

Different countries in the world use currencies with many having similar currencies due to colonial influences among other reasons. It then became necessary to differentiate the currencies of different nations. Currency codes by definition are a three-letter code used to represent currencies or precious metals. With the rise of digital currencies, currency codes have also been created for these new currencies.

Origins of currency codes

1978 saw the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) publish the ISO 4217 standard which included currency designators and national codes alongside references to minor units. The standard has since undergone a number of amendments following the creation of new currencies, change in currency by countries, etc.

Currency code formation

Most of the currency codes are formed using the two letters of the ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 country codes as the first two letters and the third is usually the initial letter of the currency itself. For example the currency code of the United States dollar is USD – with US being the code for the United States of America and D being the first letter of the dollar.

However, it is important to note that not all the currency codes are formed in this manner with the codes of some currencies being highly mnemonic. An example is the Euro whose code is EUR, with EU standing for the European Union and the appended R from the third letter of the word “euro”. Other examples of this include TRY which is the code for the Turkish lira.

Also, when a new currency is replacing an old currency of the same name, so that the two currencies have distinguished codes, a different third letter must be chosen for the new currency. Examples of this include ZWN, ZWR, and ZWL replacing ZWD as the code for the Zimbabwean dollar which has suffered from massive devaluation over the years necessitating new currencies. another example is MXN that replaced MXP as code for the Mexican peso.

List of currency codes

AED784United Arab Emirates dirhamUnited Arab Emirates
AFN971Afghan afghaniAfghanistan
ALL008Albanian lekAlbania
AMD051Armenian dramArmenia
ANG532Netherlands Antillean guilderCuraçao (CW), Sint Maarten (SX)
AOA973Angolan kwanzaAngola
ARS032Argentine pesoArgentina
AUD036Australian dollarAustralia, Christmas Island (CX),  Cocos (Keeling) Islands (CC), Heard Island and McDonald Islands (HM), Kiribati (KI), Nauru (NR), Norfolk Island (NF), Tuvalu (TV)
AWG533Aruban florinAruba
AZN944Azerbaijani manatAzerbaijan
BAM977Bosnia and Herzegovina convertible markBoania and Herzegovina
BBD052Barbados dollarBarbados
BDT050Bangladeshi takaBangladesh
BGN975Bulgarian levBulgaria
BHD048Bahraini dinarBahrain
BIF108Burundian francBurundi
BMD060Bermudian dollarBermuda
BND096Brunei dollarBrunei
BOV984Bolivian Mvdol (fund code)Bolivia
BRL986Brazilian realBrazil
BSD044Bahamian dollarBahamas
BTN064Bhutanese ngultrumBhutan
BWP072Botswana pulaBotswana
BYN933Belarusian rubleBelarus
BZD084Belize dollarBelize
CAD124Canadian dollarCanada
CDF976Congolese francDemocratic Republic of the Congo
CHE947WIR euro (complentary currency)Switzerland
CHF756Swiss francSwitzerland, Liechtenstein
CHW948WIR franc (complementary currency)Switzerland
CLF990Unidad de Fometo (funds code)Chile
CLP152Chilean pesoChile
CNY156Chinese yuanChina
COP170Colombian pesoColombia
COU970Unidad de Valor Real (UVR) (funds code)Colombia
CRC188Costa Rican ColonCosta Rica
CUC931Cuban convertible pesoCuba
CUP192Cuban pesoCuba
CVE132Cape Verdean escudoCabo Verde
CZK203Czech korunaCzechia
DJF262Djiboutian francDjibouti
DKK208Danish kroneDenmark, Faroe Islands, Greenland
DOP214Dominican pesoDominican Republic
DZD012Algerian dinarAlgeria
DGP818Egyptian poundEgypt
ERN232Eritrean nakfaEritrea
ETB230Ethiopina birrEthiopia
FJD242Fiji dollarFiji
FKP238Falkland Islands poudFalkland Islands
GBP826Pund sterlingThe United Kingdom, the Isle of Man, Jersey, Guernsey
GEL981Georgian lariGeorgia
GHS936Ghanaian cediGhana
GIP292Gibraltar poundGibraltar
GMD270Gambian dalasiGambia
GNF324Guinean francGuinea
GTQ320Guatemalan quetzalGuatemala
GyD328Guyanese dollarGuyana
HKD344Hong Kong dollarHong Kong
HNL340Honduran lempiraHonduras
HRK191Croatian kunaCroatia
HTG332Haitian gourdeHaiti
HUF348Hungarian forintHungary
IDR360Indonesian rupiahIndonesia
ILS376Israeli new shekelIsrael
INR356Indian rupeeIndia, Bhutan
IQD368Iraqi dinarIraq
IRR364Iraninan rialIran
ISK352Icelandic kronaIceland
JMD388Jamaican dollarJamaica
JOD400Jordanian dinarJordan
JPY392Japanese yenJapan
KES404Kenyan shillingKenya
KGS417Kyrgyzstani somKyrgyzstan
KHR116Cambodian rielCambodia
KMF174Comoro francComoros
KPW408 North Korean wonNorth Korea
KRW410South Korean wonSouth Korea
KWD414Kuwaiti dinarKuwait
KYD136Cayman Islands dollarCayman Islands
KZT398Kazakhstani tengeKazakhstan
LAK418Lao kipLaos
LBP422Lebanese poundLebanon
LKR144Sri Lankan rupeeSri Lanka
LRD430Liberian dollarLiberia
LSL426Lesotho lotiLesotho
LYD434Libyan dinarLibya
MAD504Moroccan dirhamMorocco, Western Sahara
MDL498Moldovan leuMoldova
MGA969Malagasy ariaryMadagascar
MKD807Macedonian denarNorth Macedonia
MMK104Myanmar kyatMyanmar
MNT496Mongolian togrogMongolia
MOP446Macanese patacaMacau
MRU929Mauritanian ouguiyaMauritania
MUR480Mauritian rupeeMauritius
MVR462Maldivian rufiyaaMaldives
MWK454Malawian kwachaMalawi
MXN484Mexican pesoMexico
MXV979Mexican Unidad de Inversion (UDI) (funds code)Mexico
MYR458Malaysian ringgitMalaysia
MZN943Mozambican meticalMozambique
NAD516Namibian dollarNamibia
NGN566Nigerian nairaNigeria
NIO558Nicaraguan cordobaNicaragua
NOK578Norwegian kroneNorway, Svalbard and Jan Mayen, Bouvet Island
NPR524Nepalese rupeeNepal
NZD554New Zealand dollarNew Zealand, Cook Islands, Niue, Pitcairn Islands, Tokelau
OMR512Omani rialOman
PAB590Panamanian balboaPananma
PEN604Peruvian solPeru
PGK598Papua New Guinean kinaPapua New Guinea
PHP608Philippine pesoPhilippines
PKR586Pakistani rupeePakistan
PLN985Polish zlotyPoland
PYG600Paraguyan guaraniParaguay
QAR634Qatari riytalQatar
RON946Romanian leuRomania
RSD941Serbian dinarSerbia
RUB643Russian rubleRussia
RWF646Rwandan francRwanda
SAR682Saudi riyalSaudi Arabia
SBD090Solomon Islands dollarSolomon Islands
SCR690Seychelles rupeeSeychelles
SDG938Sudanese poundSudan
SEK752Swedish krona/kronorSweden
SGD702Singapore dollarSingapore
SHP654Saint Helena poundSaint Helena, Ascension Island, Tristan da Cunha
SLL694Sierra Leonean leaoneSierra Leone
SOS706Somali shillingSomalia
SRD968Surinamese dollarSuriname
SSP728South Sudanese poundSouth Sudan
STN930Sao Tome and Pricipe dobraSao Tome and Principe
SVC222Salvadoran colonEl Salvador
SYP760Syrian poundSyria
SZL748Swazi lilangeniEswatini
THB764Thai bahtThailand
TJS972Tajikistani somoniTajiskistan
TMT934Turkmenistan manatTurkmenistan
TND788Tunisian dinarTunisia
TOP776Tongan pa’angaTonga
TRY949Turkish liraTrukey
TTD780Trinidad and Tobago dollarTrinidad and Tobago
TWD901New Taiwan DollarTaiwan
TZS834Tanzanian shillingTanzania
UAH980Ukaranian hryvniaUkraine
UGX800Ugandan shillingUganda
USD840United States dollarUnited States, American Samoa (AS),  British Indian Ocean Territory (IO) (also uses GBP), British Virgin Islands (VG),  Caribbean Netherlands (BQ – Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba), Ecuador (EC), El Salvador (SV), Guam (GU), Haiti (HT), Marshall Islands (MH), Federated States of Micronesia (FM), Northern Mariana Islands (MP), Palau (PW),  Panama (PA) (as well as Panamanian Balboa), Puerto Rico (PR), Timor-Leste (TL), Turks and Caicos Islands (TC), U.S. Virgin Islands (VI), United States Minor Outlying Islands (UM)
USN997United States dollar (next day) (funds code)United States
UYI940Uruguayan peso en Unidades Indexadas (URUIURUI)(funds code)Uruguay
UYU858Uruguayan pesoUruguay
UYW927Unidad previsionalUruguay
UZS860Uzbekistan somUzbekistan
VES928Venezuelan bolivar soberanoVenezuela
VND704Vietnamese dongVietnam
VUV548Vanuatu vatuVanuatu
WST882Samoan talaSamoa
XAF950CFA franc BEACCameroon, Central African Republic, Republic of the Congo, Chad, equatorial Guinea, Gabon.
XAG961Silver(one troy ounce)
XAU959Gold (one troy ounce)
XCD951East Caribbean dollar Anguilla (AI), Antigua and Barbuda (AG), Dominica (DM), Grenada (GD), Montserrat (MS), Saint Kitts and Nevis (KN), Saint Lucia (LC), Saint Vincent and the Grenadines (VC)
XOF952CFA franc BCEAOBenin, Burkina FASo, Cote d’Ivoire, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Niger, Senegal, Togo
XPD964Palladium (one troy ounce)
XPF953CFP frncFrench Polynesia (PF), New Caledonia (NC), Wallis and Futuna (WF)
XPT962Platinum (one troy ounce)
YER886Yemeni RialYemen
ZAR710South African randLesotho, Namibia, South Africa
ZMW967Zmbian kjwachaZambia
ZWL932Zimbabwean dollarZimbabwe

Other codes and currencies

There are other codes that are not ISO 4217 while there are currencies that do not have ISO 4217 codes.

Examples of currencies without ISO 4217 codes are Alderney pound, cook Islands dollar, Faroese krona, Isle of Man pound, and Maltese scudo among others. some currencies also have unofficial codes. Notable examples include CNH (offshore Chinese yuan) and the codes of numerous cryptocurrencies that include BTC (Bitcoin), BCH (Bitcoin Cash), BSV (Bitcoin SV), DASH (Dash), EOS (EOS), ETH (Ether/Ethereum), LTC (Litecoin), BNB (Binance coin), XRP (Ripple), and XMR (Monero) among others.

There are also some official currency codes that are no longer in use for different reasons. Examples of such include ALK (Old Albanian lek) that was used from 1946 to 1965, AFA (Afghan afghani) that was in use from 1925 to 2003, and LUF (Luxembourg franc) that was in use from 1944 to January 1, 1999 among others.

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