The Iraqi dinar (IQD) revaluation rumor has been around for a number of years and continues to attract a substantial number of believers. Scores of people have purchased Iraqi dinars from fast-talking promoters and online dinar currency dealers based on the firm belief that they will make windfall profits – reportedly as much as 1,000 times their original “investment” – when the currency is revalued.

This belief in a dinar revaluation is based primarily on the fact that Iraq has the world’s second-largest oil reserves. Proponents of dinar revaluation also point to the surge in value after the first Gulf War of the Kuwaiti dinar, which is now one of the world’s most expensive currencies. (Check out Investopedia's primer on the Forex Market.)

The Iraqi dinar was trading in July 2014 at a rate of about 1,200 per United States dollar, so a 1,000-fold revaluation would see the exchange rate at 1.2 per U.S. dollar. So what are the odds of that revaluation actually happening? Probably about the same as winning the Powerball lottery, which is to say virtually nil. Before you plunk down your hard-earned dollars for the currency equivalent of moose pasture, here are our top 10 reasons why you should not invest in the Iraqi dinar.

  1. Iraq is falling apart: In mid-2014, Iraq was facing its most severe crisis in years, as a swift offensive by Sunni Muslim militants threatened to break up the country. As of July 2014, these militants control much of northern Iraq, while Kurdish forces have seized Kirkuk and nearby oilfields; this has left the Iraqi government only in control of the capital Baghdad and the south. When the country’s very survival is at stake, currency revaluation is very unlikely to be on the agenda.
  2. The economy is struggling: The Iraq economy had been on the upswing until the assault by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in 2014 threatened to set it back by years. In 2012, Iraq became the second-biggest oil producer in OPEC; in spring 2014, oil production in the nation reached a 35-year high of 3.2 million barrels per day. While most of Iraq’s oil production and export facilities are in the south, and thus quite distant from the conflict between ISIS and Iraqi forces, it also has significant resources in areas controlled by ISIS and Kurdish forces, which may be impossible to develop. With the economy already struggling, the last thing it needs is the challenge posed by a massive revaluation.
  3. Iraqi dinars do not trade on global forex markets: The value of the dinar is currently set through an auction process by the Central Bank of Iraq. As the dinar does not trade on global forex markets, its value is set by government edict rather than by supply and demand as it is for freely traded currencies. This also means that so-called dinar dealers can charge any rate they desire to unsuspecting investors.
  4. Iraqi dinars can be redeemed only in Iraq: Since Iraqi dinars do not trade on global forex markets, they cannot be redeemed anywhere except in Iraq.
  5. Several U.S. states have warned about Iraqi dinar scams: A number of U.S. states have been warning their residents for a few years now about scams involving the Iraqi dinar.
  6. Dinar currency brokers may not be legitimate: The Washington State Department of Financial Institutions (DFI), in a warning about potential dinar scams, notes that a number of online dealers who offer Iraqi dinars register with the U.S. Treasury as a Money Services Business (MSB) to make their scam seem legitimate. However, the MSB registration only requires a form to be filled out and does not reflect any currency trading experience or any special qualifications on the part of the dealer. It also warns that most of these websites are operating illegally in Washington State, without a currency exchange or money transmission license issued by the DFI.
  7. Great deal of currency already in circulation: At a rate of about 1200 Iraqi dinars to one U.S. dollar, it is apparent that there is a great deal of Iraqi currency already in circulation. While it is possible that the Central Bank of Iraq may one day lop off three zeros to create a new currency – as has been done over the decades by a number of nations – there is a world of difference between such a redenomination (which does not change the fundamental value of a currency) and a revaluation (which does).
  8. Inflation differentials: Iraq’s inflation rate has decreased from an annual rate of 4% in early 2014 to just above 2% by mid-year. This may not seem like an unduly high rate, but is higher than the inflation rate in most advanced economies that were more concerned with the prospect of deflation than inflation in the period before 2014. The Iraqi economy could also face higher inflation if the country is wracked by civil war. An adverse inflation differential vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar is scarcely a recipe for currency revaluation.
  9. Devaluation more likely than revaluation: As a result of some of the above factors, it is likely that devaluation rather than revaluation may be the most likely outcome for the Iraqi dinar in the years ahead.
  10. If it’s such a great idea, why the high-pressure sales tactics? The Oklahoma Securities Commission warns that high-pressure sales tactics are being used to flog Iraqi dinars, including claims that buying dinars is a time-sensitive investment that requires immediate action. Such boiler-room tactics seldom if ever work out well for the investor.

The Bottom Line

There are simply too many warning signs to warrant investing in this currency. When it comes to the Iraqi dinar, caveat emptor or buyer beware should be the watchword.

Related Articles
  1. Economics

    Why the Euro Failed to Become the World's Reserve Currency

    Examine the current state of the U.S. dollar as the world's reserve currency; learn the major reasons why the euro has failed to replace it in that capacity.
  2. Investing Basics

    Top Tips for Diversifying with Exotic Currencies

    Is there an opportunity in exotic currencies right now, or are you safer sticking to the major ones?
  3. Forex Education

    The Most Famous Forex Traders Of All Time

    The five most famous forex traders share common virtues such as strong self-confidence.
  4. Forex Fundamentals

    Buying Yuans as a Long-Term Investment: Risks and Rewards

    Examine the current state of the Chinese currency, the renminbi/yuan, and learn whether it is considered a good long-term investment.
  5. Stock Analysis

    The Biggest Risks of Investing in Caterpillar Stock

    Learn about the primary risks faced by Caterpillar's investors. Discover why global macroeconomic cycles and currency fluctuations are important risk factors.
  6. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    The Best Currency ETFs

    We look at the best currency ETFs for gaining exposure to various global currencies, based on daily volume and performance.
  7. Forex Fundamentals

    Oil & Currencies: Understanding Their Correlation

    Crude oil shows tight correlation with movements in many currency pairs.
  8. Professionals

    Why When China Sneezes the U.S. Catches a Cold

    The size and breadth of the Chinese economy will naturally affect the U.S. Making clients aware of it can help manage portfolio expectations.
  9. Savings

    Best Places to Exchange Currency in Houston

    As an international hub, Houston has plenty of currency exchange places serving visitors and residents. Here's where to find the best rates in town.
  10. Investing Basics

    Explaining Payment-In-Kind

    With respect to financial instruments, PIK means payments made to the holder of a financial instrument that is something other than cash.
  1. Who decides when to print money in India?

    The Reserve Bank of India, or RBI, manages currency in India. The bank's additional responsibilities include regulating the ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. How is a block chain network useful for trading goods and assets in virtual currencies?

    Perhaps the most famous quote associated with blockchain technology came from an anonymous virtual currency user, who described ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. What types of companies benefit from reporting results utilizing constant currencies ...

    Any company that does a substantial amount of business in foreign countries, and is therefore subject to foreign currency ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. What are key benefits to a country that has engaged in a policy of currency depreciation?

    In the modern world, most currencies represent fiat money not backed by any commodity or precious metal and whose value is ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. How does a block chain prevent double-spending of Bitcoins?

    Double-spending – the incidence of one individual successfully spending a Bitcoin balance more than once – is a major concern ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. What is the difference between barter and currency systems?

    The primary difference between barter and currency systems is that a currency system uses an agreed-upon form of paper or ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Real Estate Investment Trust - REIT

    A REIT is a type of security that invests in real estate through property or mortgages and often trades on major exchanges ...
  2. Section 1231 Property

    A tax term relating to depreciable business property that has been held for over a year. Section 1231 property includes buildings, ...
  3. Term Deposit

    A deposit held at a financial institution that has a fixed term, and guarantees return of principal.
  4. Zero-Sum Game

    A situation in which one person’s gain is equivalent to another’s loss, so that the net change in wealth or benefit is zero. ...
  5. Capitalization Rate

    The rate of return on a real estate investment property based on the income that the property is expected to generate.
  6. Gross Profit

    A company's total revenue (equivalent to total sales) minus the cost of goods sold. Gross profit is the profit a company ...
Trading Center
You are using adblocking software

Want access to all of Investopedia? Add us to your “whitelist”
so you'll never miss a feature!