The Most Traded Currencies in The World - List of Currencies

The most traded currencies – The Forex market is effortlessly the largest and the most liquid market in the world. Millions of people (parties) trade trillions of dollars every single day with an average of $5.1 trillion traded per day. A vast majority of the trading occurs in huge financial hubs in the United States, the United Kingdom, Japan, Singapore, Switzerland, and Hong Kong. The most used currency in the world is the US Dollar accompanying with other world currencies.

For new and current Forex market participants one of the first and most important steps is to be very familiar with the most traded currencies by value in the whole world. In this article, we are going to go through the most traded currency pairs in the world and the qualities that make them accessible. It will boost your Forex knowledge and help you make more informed steps towards becoming a successful trader.

20 Most Traded Currencies By Value

RankCurrencyISO 4217 Code
1US DollarUSD
2European EuroEUR
3Japanese YenJPY
4British PoundGBP
5Australian DollarAUD
6Canadian DollarCAD
7Swiss FrancCHF
8Chinese Yuan RenminbiCNY
9Swedish KronaSEK
10Mexican PesoMXN
11New Zealand DollarNZD
12Singapore DollarSGD
13Hong Kong DollarHKD
14Norwegian kroneNOK
15South Korean WonKRW
16Turkish liraTRY
17Indian RupeeINR
18Russian RubleRUB
19Brazilian RealBRL
20South African RandZAR

20 Most Traded Currencies By Value

1. The US dollar (USD)

the most traded currencies

The most used currency in the world is the US dollar, effortlessly. The main reason behind the US dollar overrules all currencies is the stability of the US government and economic vitality.

  • Reserve currency

A reserve currency is a currency that is detained by the government and some institutions in large quantities as a portion of their foreign exchange funds. It is usually used for investments or international transactions. Today the US dollar is the most important reserve currency in the world.  This is the main reason that makes it the most traded commodities in the world.

  • The Dollarization

Dollarization is when the residents of a particular country overuse the U.S. dollar or another currency with or instead of their local currency. Some cases involve unofficial dollarization when specific individuals withhold foreign currency bank deposits or bond notes (paper money) for protection against increased inflation in local currency. On the other hand, official dollarization takes place when a government decides to adopt a foreign currency legally as the primary currency so to speak.

  • A Benchmark Currency

Besides, most used currency in the world, the US dollar represents a benchmark currency for particular countries that decide to fix their money on to the US dollar value. Intending to try to stabilize its exchange rate, China has had its currency (the Yuan) pegged to the US dollar for a long time.

  • For most commodities, it is a benchmark pricing mechanism

Another vital characteristic of one of the most tradable currencies, the US dollar is that most commodities like precious metals and crude oil are denominated in the US dollar. It suggests that these commodities are vulnerable to value fluctuation according to the supply and demand law.

2. The Euro (EUR)

the most traded currencies

Since the euro introduced to the world, it has steadily crawled up to become the second highest value currency in the world. Not only this but it is also the second reserve currency following the dominant US dollar (one of the major currencies).

The euro is a broadly used and trusted currency worldwide and quite dominant in the Forex market adding to the liquidity of any currency, which it trades within. Speculators often trade the euro based on the Eurozone health in general, its member countries. And also the most vital economic and political events that take place within its borders. Political events that take place within the Eurozone usually results in the euro trading volumes rising.

  • Benchmark Currency

Apart from being an official as well as one of the most traded currencies in the world for the majority of the nations in the Eurozone, a lot of African and European countries have their currencies fixed onto the euro to stabilize their exchange rate. It is very similar to the US dollar case mentioned above. There are 22 countries as well as territories overall outside of the Eurozone that has pegged their currencies on to the euro.

3. The Japanese Yen (JPY)

the most traded currencies

The Japanese Yen is without a doubt, on the top of the most traded currencies in all of Asia. It is also the primary gauge of the fundamental strength of the manufacturing and export economy of Japan.

Many measure the Pacific region’s overall health using the Japanese Yen. It includes economies like Singapore, South Korea and Thailand whose currencies are traded a lot less in the international foreign exchange markets.

  • Carry Trade Currency

The carry trade strategy is relatively dependent on the stability of asset prices. It is because any opposing movement of the exchange rate can quickly eliminate the critical interest rate variance.

In Forex, the Yen is also very well known for the important part it plays in the carry trade. Due to stagnation, the Bank of Japan has had an interest rate that remains at 0%. Furthermore, in the last two decades sometimes even harmful. Hence, Traders have decided to borrow the Yen at reduced interest rates, which they will then exchange for a different currency, which pays higher interest rates. Therefore, traders benefit because they pay low-interest rates on the money that they borrow. However, they receive high-interest rates on the money they trade.

The carry trade is an essential element for keeping the Japanese Yen on top of the list of the most traded world currencies by value.

  • The Japanese Yen as a Safe Haven

At times, when most currencies traders are vulnerable to risk or incline to it, such as inflation situations, moments of economic uncertainty and other crisis, history has proven the Japanese Yen has stood as a haven currency. It remains strong, because of its stability during these times as compared to other most traded world currencies.

4. The British Pound (GBP)

the most traded currencies

The pound popularly known as the pound sterling falls at number four on the most traded currencies list. For a couple of decades, the pound was the second most used currency in the world. However, due to the British Empire’s deterioration and the rapid rise of the Euro the pound lost some of its strength.

  • Reserve Currency

The relative value of the pound in comparison to other major currencies in the world makes it eligible to act as a colossal reserve currency. Despite the exit planned for March 2019, the UK is still an authorized member of the EU until then. However, it decided not to have the Euro as its official currency for several reasons. Historical reasons include pride in the Pound Sterling as well as retaining the domestic interest rates. According to Forex traders, the value of the British pound depends on the stability of the economy and politics of its government.

  • Benchmark Currency

As compared to other most tradable currencies by value, it has relatively high value, and this makes it a vital currency benchmark for a lot of nations as well as being very liquid in the Forex market.

Forex traders will often base the pound value on the strength of the British economy and the government’s political stability. Due to its increased value, the pound is a vital benchmark currency for many nations. It also acts as a very liquid component in the Forex market.

5. The Australian Dollar (AUD)

the most traded currencies

Despite the recent creation (1966) of the AUD to replace the Australian pound. It escalated very quickly to become one of the most traded commodities by value. It is also very popular in the Asia-Pacific region because of the stable Australian economy.

  • Carry Trade Favorite

The interest rate of the Royal Bank of Australia is higher than the others most of the time. It makes it very popular to currency carry trades.

  • Depends Heavily On Commodities

The Australian dollar ties with commodities such as gold and silver. Therefore, the health of the AUD connected closely to these two commodities. It also results in Australia’s interest rates and inflation control being highly dependent on the development of commodities.

The AUD also has a historical relationship with Gold’s spot price. This close relationship presents an incredible opportunity to create a pair trading strategy.

6. The Canadian Dollar (CAD)

the most traded currencies

The Canadian dollar is also popularly known as the loonie and the leading commodity currency worldwide.

It means that it moves alongside the commodities market namely minerals, crude oil, and precious stones as Canada is a massive exporter of commodities of this sort. The volatility of the loonie is very high regarding the movement in prices notably of crude oil. Canada is located very close to the United States, the most extensive consumer base worldwide.

Therefore, the Canadian economy and the dollar are remarkably linked to the US dollar movement. It includes the strength of the US economy.

7. The Swiss Franc (CHF)

most heavily traded currencies

It is one of the only major currencies that were not pegged to the USD after World War II. It has named it a “neutral currency.”

  • A Haven Currency

When the economy expands, and other currencies or assets increase in value. The Swiss franc moves in the opposite direction, which makes it a haven currency, which is helping her remain on top of the list of the most traded currencies by value.

  • Carry Trade

The Swiss franc also qualifies as a carry trade currency, due to the economic stability, high liquidity, and low rates policy. Its value is not dependant on economic conditions.

The economic conditions of Switzerland do not determine the value of the Swiss franc. Instead, the primary dictator of the Franc is the interest rates policy of the Swiss National Bank. It is because the Franc demand is deduced from it being a trustworthy, liquid and stable currency. Well, other than these 7 most tradable currencies, we also have a complete list of 20 most traded world currencies on the whole.

8. Chinese Yuan Renminbi (CNY)

most heavily traded currencies

Yuan Renminbi successfully included in the 20 most traded currencies list. Sometimes the Chinese currency referred to as the Yuan and sometimes it is called Renminbi. Why China has two different currency names? Well, both names are perfectly right but in particular situations.

In 1949, the Communist People’s Republic of China introduced the official name of the currency as “Renminbi” at the time of its foundation. Basically, it means “the People’s Currency.”

On the other side, “Yuan” is the name of a unit of the currency “Renminbi.” If something may cost one Yuan, then it would not mean that you could say it cost one Renminbi. Well, the word “Yuan” goes back more than “Renminbi.” This word is used in Chinese for dollar –the silver coin. Chinese Yuan Renminbi has 3.97% share of turnover with an average of 202 billion US dollar, and this currency is the territory of China. Chinese

9. Swedish krona (SEK)

the most traded currencies

Sometimes the Swedish Krona referred to as the Swedish crown, which is the monetary unit of many countries such as Norway, Denmark, and Sweden. Swedish Krona is the 9th highest value currency in the world. The Swedish krona seemingly divided into 100 ore. It symbolizes as Kr and has SEK as a code of currency. The Sveriges Riksbank, which is also known as the Swedish National Bank, Riksbanken or Bank of Sweden, who is responsible for issuing Swedish banknotes and coins denominated in the krona.

It is also one of the 20 most traded world currencies. The Swedish krona has 2.22% share of turnover with an average of 113 billion US dollar, and this currency is the territory of Sweden. Currently, several coins and krona denominated banknotes are in circulation. Ranging between 20 and 1,000-krona banknotes have values, while coins have denominations between 1 and 10 kronor.

10. Mexican Peso (MXN)

the most traded currencies

Initially, the Mexican peso based on the official currency of Spain, which is a Silver dollar. From the 8 real coins, the Mexican name originated. And these were issued by Spain for Mexico, which was made from pure silver. To use a distinct border and precise weight to guard against bogus, this was the first currency, which made it renowned.

In 1905, the golden Peso value reduced to 49.3%, whereas the silver Peso remained the same. After the Oil Crisis of the 1970s, for many years Mexico faced inflation and debt defaults, driving to the substitute of the currency with the Nuevo Peso. The Nuevo Peso valued 1000 Mexican Pesos.

The Mexican peso has 2.20% share of turnover with an average of 112 billion US dollar, and this currency is the territory of Mexico. Due to all these factors, it becomes one of the most used world currencies.

the most traded currencies

11. New Zealand Dollar (NZD)

the most traded currencies

Since 1967, the official currency of New Zealand is the New Zealand dollar. The same unit of currency is used in the Cook Islands, Tokelau, Niue, and the Pitcairn Islands. Commonly, this currency is called kiwi, which is named after the national bird, and it appears on the 1 dollar coin. New Zealand dollar is the most traded currency pairs in the world.  New Zealand dollar has 2.06% share of turnover with an average of 105 billion US dollar, and this currency is the territory of New Zealand.

12. Singapore Dollar (SGD)

the most traded currencies

Undoubtedly, the Singapore dollar is one of the most traded world currencies. Right now, with an exchange rate of 1.3 against the US dollar, it is possibly the most traded currency pairs in the world, though it is not stronger than others are. The Singapore dollar has achieved in less than a hundred years what it took others centuries to complete. On the other hand, it looks different from each one of the players.

Singapore dollar has 1.79% share of turnover with an average of 91 billion US dollar, and this currency is the territory of Singapore.

13. Hong Kong Dollar (HKD)

the most traded currencies

For the sovereign city of Hong Kong, the currency used is the Hong Kong Dollar. Not only Hong Kong but is widely used in Macau and in mainland China even when it is not officially registered currency there.

Hong Kong dollar has 1.73% share of turnover with an average of 88 billion US dollar, and this currency is the territory of Hong Kong (China).

14. Norwegian krone (NOK)

the most traded currencies

The Norwegian Krone (NOK) is the official currency of Norway, and the country’s central bank, the Norges Bank regulates and controls the circulation of it. Overall, eight series of banknotes issued, including the October 2018, issuance of a new 50-Krone and 500-Krone bills. Customers may possibly still use the 50-krone and 500-krone banknotes from the older series until 18 October 2019.

The Norwegian krone has 1.67% share of turnover with an average of 85 billion US dollar, and this currency is the territory of Norway. Undoubtedly, the Norwegian krone is one of the most used currencies in the world.

15. South Korean Won (KRW)

the most traded currencies

The official currency of South Korea is the Korean Won. In East Asia, South Korea is an independent state, which is located on the southern portion of the Korean Peninsula. The capital and largest city Seoul has a population of over 10 million people. The South Korean won has been in use for more than thousands of years. The won was replaced by the Yen at par, during the Colonial era.

South Korean won has a 1.65% share of turnover with an average of 84 billion US dollar, and this currency is the territory of South Korea.

16. Turkish Lira (TRY)

the most traded currencies

The Turkish lira has 1.40% share of turnover with an average of 71 billion US dollar, and this currency is the territory of Turkey. The Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey made the latest currency sign of Turkish Lira in 2012. After a countrywide contest, the current sign was selected. Tülay Lale made the new symbol, which is composed of the alphabet “L”, shaped like a half anchor as well as the entrenched double striped letter “T” angled at 20 degrees.

On 1 January 2009, a new series of banknotes, the “E-9 Emission Group” entered spread along with the E-8 group stopped to be valid after 31 December 2009.

17. Indian Rupee (INR)

the most traded currencies

The Indian Rupee considered as the standard currency of India and divides into 100 paise (which is singular paisa). The Reserve Bank of India controls the issuance of the currency. Indian Rupee is one of the most traded commodities by the value that comes at number 17 in the 20 most traded currencies list. The Indian rupee has 1.14% share of turnover with an average of 58 billion US dollar, and this currency is the territory of India.

In India, the Rs 500 and Rs 1000 ended to be legal tender in 2016. To end corruption and illegal cash holdings an attempt was made in terms of removal of the sect. The same year in November, the Reserve Bank of India started issuing ₹ 2000 value banknotes in the Mahatma Gandhi Series.

18. Russian Ruble (RUB)

the most traded currencies

Among the 20 most traded currencies list the Russian Ruble also makes its place successfully. The Ruble has been the currency of Russia for almost 500 years. Throughout history, it has been used in several different countries. Due to several changes in the value of the currency, there have been different versions of the ruble.

Russian Ruble has 1.14% share of turnover with an average of 58 billion US dollar, and this currency is the territory of Russia.

19. Brazilian Real (BRL)

the most traded currencies

Since 1994, the real is the legal tender in Brazil and currently is the dominant currency in entire Latin America. Although this currency has suffered lots of changes because of economic crises. Still, it stands in the list of 20 most traded currencies list successfully. Brazilian real has 1.00% share of turnover with an average of 51 billion US dollar, and this currency is the territory of Brazil.

In denominations of 1, 5, 10, 50 and 100 reais banknotes were introduced in 1994. BCB on 31 December 2005, discontinued the production of the 1 Brazilian real banknote.

20. South African Rand (ZAR)

the most traded currencies

South Africa has the official currency rand, which divides into 100 cents. It has a 1.00% share of turnover with an average of 51 billion US dollar, and this currency is the territory of South Africa. Throughout South Africa, multiple currencies moved as a trading centre. The Guilder was the first official currency, and during the late 17th century Rixdollar was the first South African currency that was used to include paper notes.

In 1826, during the British occupation, the Cape Colony was put on a genuine basis. However, other currencies such as French Francs, US Dollars, Indian Rupees, and Spanish Dollars keep on circulating. The Reserve Bank of South Africa in 1961 changed the Pound under a decimalized system.


Now the 20 most traded currencies list seems completed. Ultimately, you have an idea of all the most traded currency pairs all over the world. While trading, you can use any of the most traded commodities to execute effective trades.

It is evident that each currency has its particular features. And these features help them to be at the top of the most heavily traded currencies in the world.

Including the effect, they have on the movement of prices to other currencies within the Forex market. Understanding the primary factors that move a currency is a significant step toward becoming a successful Forex market participant.

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