Restricted currencies refer to currencies that have been subjected to specific controls by the respective government to ensure the relative stability of those currencies, at least that’s often the official stance. This in contrast with freely convertible currencies or closed currencies.
List of Restricted Currencies
Restrictions keep on changing from time to time. Therefore, to be sure about the restricted currencies, visit your local bank or embassy so that you can know whether you can buy, sell or send the following currencies.
|Angola||Angolan Kwanza (AOA)|
|Armenia||Armenian dram (AMD)|
|Bahamas||Bahamian dollar (BSD)|
|Barbados||Barbadian dollar (BBD)|
|Belize||Belize dollar (BZD)|
|Brazil||Brazilian real (BRL)|
|Cameroon||Central African franc (XAF)|
|Chile||Chilean Peso (CLP)|
|China||Chinese yuan or Chinese Renminbi (CNY)|
|Cuba||Cuban peso (CUP)|
|Egypt||Egyptian pound (EGP)|
|Ethiopia||Ethiopian Birr (ETB)|
|Fiji||Fijian dollar (FJD)|
|Georgia||Georgian lari (GEL)|
|Ghana||Ghanaian cedi (GHS)|
|India||Indian rupee (INR)|
|Indonesia||Indonesian Rupiah (IDR)|
|Iran||Iranian rial (IRR)|
|Sri Lanka||Sri Lankan rupee (LKR)|
|Libya||Libyan dinar (LYD)|
|Malaysia||Malaysian ringgit (MYR)|
|Mauritius||Mauritian rupee (MUR)|
|Morocco||Moroccan dirham (MAD)|
|Myanmar||Burmese kyat (MMK)|
|Namibia||Namibian dollar (NAD)|
|Nepal||Nepalese Rupee (NPR)|
|Nigeria||Nigerian naira (NGN)|
|North Korea||North Korean won (KPW)|
|Pakistan||Pakistani rupee (PKR)|
|Papua New Guinea||Papua New Guinean Kina (PGK)|
|Philippines||Philippine Peso (PHP)|
|Samoa||Samoan Tala (WST)|
|Russia||Russian ruble (RUB)|
|South Africa||South African Rand (ZAR)|
|Sudan||Sudanese pound (SDG)|
|Tunisia||Tunisian dinar (TND)|
|Ukraine||Ukrainian hryvnia (UAH)|
|Uzbekistan||Uzbekistani som (UZS)|
|Venezuela||Venezuela bolivar (VEF)|
Sending money to a country with a restricted currency
When a country’s currency is restricted from trading, the cost of sending money to that country will be significantly more expensive. Even with services such as Transferwise.
Understanding Currency Restrictions: Causes and Consequences
Currency restrictions serve various purposes, ensuring economic stability and safeguarding national interests. One primary reason behind these restrictions is to shield the country’s economy from the adverse effects of currency fluctuations. By maintaining control over their currency, governments aim to prevent any sudden devaluation that could harm their economic stability. Simultaneously, these measures enable authorities to retain the ability to regulate the money supply, a crucial tool in monetary policy.
The impact of currency fluctuations extends to trade imbalances, which can render an economy fragile. On the flip side, restricting the free trading of currencies can potentially lead to inflationary pressures. Until the late 1980s, many countries rigorously enforced currency regulations, effectively keeping their currencies confined within their borders. However, a significant shift occurred as numerous nations began to ease these restrictions.
Currency fluctuations are influenced by a complex interplay of factors, including monetary policies, economic growth, and the value of a country’s goods. For nations with vulnerable economies, changes in supply and demand can have both positive and negative consequences on their export competitiveness. These fluctuations can significantly impact the overall economic landscape, requiring governments to carefully weigh the advantages and disadvantages of currency controls.
Several reasons underpin the implementation of currency restrictions. They encompass preventing currency devaluation, curbing capital flight (as exemplified by China), and managing foreign access to specific industries and tourism (as observed in Cuba). These measures, often rooted in economic strategies and geopolitical considerations, exert a profound influence on shaping a nation’s financial framework.
Some key reasons for currency restrictions include:
- Safeguarding against currency devaluation.
- Controlling capital flight, as seen in the case of China.
- Regulating foreign access to specific sectors and tourism, exemplified by Cuba.
Types of Currency Restrictions
Currency restriction is carried out in different ways from one country to another. However, the following are some common types of currency restrictions.
- Limiting the purchasing of foreign currency
- Restricting the use of foreign currency in a country by banning residents from holding foreign currencies
- Fixing exchange rates instead of allowing exchange rates to be determined by market forces
- Limiting the amount of currency one can import or export
- Prohibiting the exchange of currencies in a country or allowing currency exchange to be carried out by government retailers only
Reasons why currencies are restricted
If a country is facing an economic crisis, the government may limit the exchange of currency. Among the reasons of restricting currencies is supply and demand factor. When many people buy currency, the exchange rate rises and when few people sell currency, the exchange rate declines. This in the end helps to inflate the value of the currency artificially.
On the other hand, by limiting international currency exchange, it helps to avoid a country’s currency from reaching the market. This makes it difficult for investors to trade their currencies in other countries without having to exchange it in their home country. In some countries, such as Venezuela and Cuba, currency restrictions are carried as a political decision. This is done especially due to sanctions and a way of controlling trade and people from visiting the country.
Bitcoin and Currency Restrictions
The rise of Bitcoin has significantly challenged the enforcement of currency restrictions. China’s attempts to regulate Bitcoin serve as a pertinent example of the complexities governments encounter in this regard.
On one hand, governments aim to retain control over the flow of money within their borders, safeguarding their economic interests. Simultaneously, they grapple with the realization that Bitcoin could potentially evolve into the global currency, which would put their nation at a significant disadvantage if they persist in attempting to “ban” Bitcoin for an extended period. Complicating matters further, many political figures have opted to invest in Bitcoin, reflecting the evolving landscape of digital currencies.
Closed Currencies and Freely Convertible Currencies
Unlike restricted currencies, a freely convertible currency is a currency that does not have any government restriction during the currency exchange. Convertibility allows for the conversion of money into liquid cash. Examples include the US Dollar and the Euro.
A closed currency is a currency that is only available in the country of origin and not freely available in other countries. These closed currencies are only available in the country of origin, and it is illegal to travel out of that country with the currency. You can see our list of freely convertible currencies and closed currency list.
Restricted currencies FAQs
Is INR a restricted currency?
The Indian Rupee (INR) is a restricted currency.
Is KRW a restricted currency?
The Korean Won (KRW) is a restricted currency since 1997.