The US dollar is more than the currency of the United States of America. It is the world’s primary reserve currency with more than 60% of the global pie in 2019, one that the entire global monetary and debt system is largely pegged to. Trillions of dollars worth of greenbacks are traded on the global marketplace every single day and are accepted as payment for goods and services in dozens of countries.
That being said, the dollar is in equal parts American and global. There is no other currency that has such a colorful history or plays such an integral role in the world as we know it today. With that in mind, let’s take a closer look as we reveal six mindblowing facts about the dollar that you probably didn’t know.
1. The Highest Denomination Ever in Circulation Was the $10,000 Bill
Not including the $100,000 gold certificate issued by the Fed to transfer money between banks, the highest denomination ever in standard circulation was a $10,000 bill. The bulk of these was printed in 1928, at the height of the economic boom experienced in America during the 1920s, and could be used as legal tender in any transaction. Today, those same bills are highly sought after by collectors, with only a few hundred believed to be in circulation. A mint condition 1928 edition bill can sell for as much as $130,000 at auction.
2. More Than Two-Thirds of $100 Bills Are Held Outside the US
While Americans spend trillions of dollars domestically every year, the vast majority of paper $100 bills are held in overseas banks and vaults. This is because, as mentioned, the greenback is a popular national reserve currency, largely the currency of choice for servicing debt and financing government-backed initiatives. The dollar is also one of the most stable currencies on the market, meaning that people who hoard dollars do not need to fear depreciation as much as with other currencies.
3. The Dollar is the Most Traded Currency in the World By Far
On the multi-trillion-dollar foreign exchange market, traders in every corner of the globe swap US dollars for other currencies, often in the hopes of exploiting the value difference between the leading reserve currency and other currencies. The US dollar accounts for around 88% of trade on the global forex market and plays an integral role in the currency trading industry, in which both beginner and veteran traders increasingly take advantage of the best forex bonuses to freely trade dollars on the global marketplace, no matter where in the world they are located thanks to the increasingly popular online trading industry. This appetite for trading dollars cannot be found with any other currency.
4. Dollar Bills Can Be Folded Up To 8000 Times
While a standard piece of paper can only be folded in half around a dozen times before it is torn or otherwise useless (the notion that you can only fold paper eight times is a myth), a US dollar bill can be folded a staggering 8,000 times. This is because dollar bills are made up of a unique blend of cotton and linen, and do not actually contain the same ingredients as standard writing paper at all. This material is used as it helps dollar bills remain in good condition, no matter what they go through.
5. The Green Color Was Used to Prevent Counterfeiting
While the iconic green hue of the dollar has been replicated in other banknotes around the world, it did not use to be this way. In the 19th century, the majority of paper currencies around the world were colored in black and white, including the dollar. However, it became apparent that forgers could easily use black and white photography to make counterfeit bills. Given that green dye was difficult for ordinary folk to come by at the time, the Federal Reserve settled on the green color.
6. 27 Countries Accept the US Dollar as Currency
In another stark reminder of the US dollar’s global pre-eminence, 27 countries now accept it as legal tender within their territory. The world’s second-largest reserve currency, the euro, only has 19 countries that accept it as legal tender. The British Virgin Islands, Ecuador, Barbados, and Vietnam are just a few examples of countries that officially accept US dollars for goods and services. Some of this owes to the fact that businesses can often enjoy better exchange rates when they receive the more sought-after dollars, while some of it is simply because dollars are everywhere, and global travelers are most likely to have them in abundance.
These mindblowing facts demonstrate that there truly is such a thing as a global currency – and that currency is the US dollar.