Paper Money

Hyperinflation leads to new high-denomination bank notes in Venezuela

The Central Bank of Venezuela is issuing three new high-denomination bank notes to meet the needs of commerce in this nation facing hyperinflation.

Images courtesy of the Central Bank of Venezuela.

Among high face value notes, although Zimbabwe has, as yet, no competition for its $100 trillion bank note issued in 2008 during hyperinflation, a potential competitor is on the horizon.

The Central Bank of Venezuela issued a statement March 5 advising that three new notes will be introduced “to meet the requirements of the national economy.” Higher denominations are needed keep up with hyperinflation that, in January, the bank said, was at an annual rate of 2,665%.

New 200,000-, 500,000-, and 1,000,000-bolivare denominations were to gradually enter circulation, starting on March 8. In terms of U.S. dollars, they are currently worth 10.6, 26.5, and 53 cents, respectively. The value trend is progressively downwards. In 2019, 10,000 bolivares was worth about $1.60 in U.S. funds.

Simón Bolívar is on the face of all three notes. It is the same portrait as on the currently circulating 10,000-, 20,000-, and 50,000-bolivare notes of 2019. The 200,000-bolivare and 500,000-bolivare values also have the same back, an image of Bolivar’s mausoleum. The 1,000,000-bolivare note is commemorative in nature, with an image commemorating the bicentennial of the Battle of Carabobo. This June 24, 1821, battle between Bolivar’s forces and those of Spanish Field Marshal Miguel de la Torre led to Venezuela’s independence and establishment of the Republic of Gran Colombia.

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