The largest currency devaluation in history

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World currency markets have witnessed some radical events in recent times. For example, Venezuela and Turkey were most often featured in the news due to their respective currency crises.

3. Venezuelan Bolivar (VES): 2018-2019-2020.

The economic crisis that has swept Venezuela since 2013 intensified sharply in August 2018, when the Maduro government announced a massive devaluation of the currency by 95%. He restarted his currency known as Bolívar Soberano, replacing it with Bolívar Fuerte, and changed the currency code from VEF to VES. However, this step did not help: the whole chicken cost 14.6 million bolivars ($ 2.22), and one roll of toilet paper cost the buyer 2,600,000 VES.

In order not to go to the supermarket with a wheelbarrow filled with bolivar notes, many Venezuelans pay for goods and services only through electronic transactions. As a result of the crisis, millions of Venezuelans flee the country, many of which cross the border with neighboring Brazil and Colombia. Inflation over the past year in the country amounted to 1.7 million%. The oil-rich state was once one of the most prosperous countries in Latin America.

2. Zimbabwean Dollar (ZWD): 2008-2009

The former Zimbabwean currency rose from 1000 ZWD per US dollar in September 2008 to 300 trillion ZWD a few months later in February 2009. Hyperinflation led the Zimbabwean government to promote the entire business in foreign currency in January 2009, mainly in US dollars, euros (EUR) and South African currencies (ZAR). Since then, the government has proclaimed the “death” of ZWD and instead uses the US dollar as the country's currency.

Economic development in Zimbabwe has led to the impoverishment of the vast majority of its population of 16 million, exacerbated by the crisis of 2008-2009 when prices doubled every 24 hours, peaked, chronic food shortages increased and unemployment increased. Experts say that under the leadership of former President Robert Mugabe, the main export industries were “destroyed” for four decades. This country was once seen as the “breadbasket” of Africa.

1. Deutsche Mark (DM): 1923

Germany plunged into chaos in 1923, as its currency, quickly depreciated. Before World War I in 1914, the US dollar was equal to four German marks, increasing to about 70 in 1920.

By November of that year, one dollar amounted to 4 trillion marks.

In 1923, the country was deprived of the value of the First World War and subsequent reparation payments, which it had to pay to other countries. As Germans became increasingly desperate due to uprisings throughout the country, a workers' strike in early 1923 helped provoke a growing devaluation of the currency. Due to the crisis, it was necessary to resort to the introduction of a new currency - the rentenmark, which subsequently helped to return to the normal level of the economy.

Prepared by: Nikita Smirnov