The currency for the Ethiopian birr, the official currency of Ethiopia. The currency was called the Abyssinian birr until 1931, when former Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie purchased and restructured the former Bank of Abyssinia (which served the country at that time) to create the current National Bank of Ethiopia.


The current-day birr was re-established as the country's legal tender in 1945. As of 2009, the National Bank issues birr notes in 1, 5, 10, 50 and 100 denominations and coins in 1, 5, 10, 25 and 50-cent denominations.

Other previously-used official currencies for the country include the Italian lira (Italy occupied the country in 1936) and the East African shilling.

  1. Hard Currency

    A currency, usually from a highly industrialized country, that ...
  2. Currency

    A generally accepted form of money, including coins and paper ...
  3. Money

    An officially-issued legal tender generally consisting of currency ...
  4. Forex - FX

    The market in which currencies are traded. The forex market is ...
  5. XCD (Eastern Caribbean Dollar)

    The currency abbreviation or the currency symbol for the Eastern ...
  6. Transfer Risk

    The risk that a local currency cannot be converted into the currency ...
Related Articles
  1. Options & Futures

    A Primer On The Forex Market

    Moving from equities to currencies requires you to adjust how you interpret quotes, margin, spreads and rollovers.
  2. Forex Education

    Currency Exchange: Floating Rate Vs. Fixed Rate

    Baffled by exchange rates? Wonder why some currencies fluctuate while others are pegged? This article has the answers.
  3. Personal Finance

    The Currency Board: Understanding The Government's Bank

    Currency board, central bank - what's the difference? Find out more about this little-known monetary authority.
  4. Forex Education

    Top 7 Questions About Currency Trading Answered

    Whether you're puzzled by pips or curious about carry trades, your queries are answered here.
  5. Personal Finance

    What Are Central Banks?

    They print money, they control inflation, and much, much more. All you need to know about central banks is here.
  6. Investing

    How To Build a Currency Hedged Strategy?

    We are still unsure of how to implement a currency hedge strategy based on the dollar's movement. So let’s focus on what’s easier to measure: time horizon.
  7. Investing Basics

    Understanding Cash Management

    Cash management is a broad term that applies to the collecting, managing and investing of cash.
  8. Investing Basics

    Explaining the Real Effective Exchange Rate

    The REER is a measure of the weighted average of a country’s currency against an inflation-adjusted and trade-weighted index of other currencies.
  9. Investing

    What a Fed Delay Means for the ECB & BoJ

    The Fed’s continued delay has repercussions for more than just the U.S. economy and markets. The ECB and the BoJ may support the case for stocks in Europe.
  10. Investing

    How Worried Should We Be About China?

    An economic slowdown, a freezing up in trade and plunging markets and currencies are casting a shadow across Asia—and the globe. How worried should we be?
  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. Ex Works (EXW)

    An international trade term requiring the seller to make goods ready for pickup at his or her own place of business. All ...
  2. Letter of Intent - LOI

    A document outlining the terms of an agreement before it is finalized. LOIs are usually not legally binding in their entirety. ...
  3. Purchasing Power

    The value of a currency expressed in terms of the amount of goods or services that one unit of money can buy. Purchasing ...
  4. 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 ...
  5. Section 1231 Property

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

    A deposit held at a financial institution that has a fixed term, and guarantees return of principal.
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!