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What Countries Use Dollars?

14 May 2024

Knowing which countries use dollars as their official currency is essential for smooth operations regarding international money transfers. Knowing where the dollar is strong might make your financial transactions more accessible, whether transferring money to relatives living abroad or making cross-border business payments. Transferring money can become complex if you don't know the recipient's currency. But do they make use of US dollars? You can successfully navigate that transfer with the aid of ACE Money Transfer! Let's investigate the countries where the dollar is the most valuable currency by digging into the world of currencies.

Countries Officially Using the US Dollar

The US dollar has been formally designated as the official currency of several countries. This phenomenon, referred to as dollarisation, is common in economies where monetary policy stability and credibility are highly sought after. Let's look at the countries that have the US dollar as their official currency:


Among the nations outside of the US to adopt the US currency first was Panama. Panama formally adopted the dollar in 1904, primarily due to the necessity for stability and trust in its monetary system. Although dollarisation has resulted in lower inflation and more foreign investment, it has also created challenges for the independence of monetary policy.


After a severe economic crisis, Ecuador made the US dollar its national currency in 2000. dollarisation was viewed as a step towards bringing stability and confidence back to the national economy. Ecuador has been unable to implement independent monetary policy due to its reliance on the US currency,  with its initial success in containing inflation. This reliance on the US dollar also impacts global money transfer significantly within the country's financial ecosystem.

El Salvador

When El Salvador became the first nation to accept Bitcoin as legal money in addition to the US dollar in 2021, the news was widely reported. The nation has used the dollar as its official currency since 2001 before making this change.

The goal of dollarisation was to stop hyperinflation and draw in foreign capital. But El Salvador's move to accept Bitcoin has drawn criticism and recognition, placing a heavy doubt on the country's long-term monetary policies.

Countries with Unofficial Dollarisation

Unofficial dollarisation can happen when individuals and businesses look for security and stability in the face of economic uncertainty. Let’s see which countries are involved in unofficial dollarisation:


The early 2000s saw hyperinflation and economic unrest in Zimbabwe, which prompted the adoption of the US dollar as a means of bringing stability back. Dollarisation initially contributed to price stabilization and increased economic activity. Later it also brought drawbacks such as restricted liquidity availability and reliance on US monetary policy. The nation's financial future is again a topic of discussion after recent developments.


Particularly in cities and popular tourist destinations, Cambodia has seen a considerable increase in its reliance on the US dollar. Although it is still legal, the US dollar is more commonly used and favored when making a larger money transfer in Cambodia. In the face of political and economic unpredictability, dollarisation has brought stability but has also given rise to challenges about financial inclusion and independence.


The Lebanese pound's fixed exchange rate system, which links it to the US dollar, has long been well-known in Lebanon. However, this arrangement's weaknesses have been made clear by the nation's recent economic crisis. It has resulted in a lack of dollars and a decline in the value of the local currency. For many Lebanese, dollarisation provided stability during the crisis, but it also worsened inequality and dependency on foreign help.

Factors Driving Dollar Usage

Demand for a stable and dependable currency like the US dollar is driven by economic stability, especially in areas vulnerable to inflation and currency devaluation.

Economic Stability

The demand for stable, dependable currencies like the US dollar is always high in areas where inflation and currency devaluation are common. The US economy's strength and stability have contributed to the dollar's reputation as a haven during uncertain economic times. 

The US dollar is frequently used by residents and businesses in these areas to protect the value of their savings and assets against the depreciating impacts of local currency fluctuations.

Global Trade and Finance

The interdependence of international markets demand a single currency rate to enable smooth cross-border money transfers. The US dollar effectively accomplishes this goal since it is widely recognized and trusted globally. The efficiency and convenience it provides contribute to its dominance in global finance and trade. 

Businesses can avoid the hassles and expenses of currency conversion by transacting in dollars, simplifying procedures and lowering risk. As a result, the US dollar continues to play a crucial role in the interconnected global economy, as seen by its widespread use in international trade and banking.

Global Adoption of the US Dollar

The US dollar is used extensively outside of US borders, as many nations have formally adopted it as their currency, and others use it informally. Dollarisation presents difficulties for financial inclusion and the independence of monetary policy, even though it can promote stability and ease international trade. Gaining insight into the dynamics of dollar usage is essential for navigating the global economy's complexities and promoting sustainable development.

The US dollar is widely used in international finances largely used in services like ACE Money Transfer. This service significantly contributes to the facilitation of cross-border money transfers and remittances. Services like ACE Money Transfer provide crucial support to individuals and organizations through the complexities of foreign monetary systems. It helps increase accessibility and efficiency in cross-border financial dealings.


Which other countries have adopted the US dollar?

Several smaller nations, including El Salvador and Panama, have formally chosen the US dollar as their official currency.

What is the difference between formal and informal dollarisation?

Formal dollarisation is the official acceptance of the US dollar as the medium of exchange. Informal dollarisation is the widespread usage of the US dollar in place of or in addition to the official medium of exchange without official acknowledgment.

How does dollarisation impact financial inclusion?

Dollarisation, particularly for low-income groups, might impede financial inclusion by restricting access to local currency credit and banking services.

Can a country reverse dollarisation?

The process of reversing dollarisation is difficult and complex; it calls for important changes and the development of trust in local currency and monetary policy.


What role do global money transfer services play in dollarized economies?

International money transfer services like ACE Money Transfer make remittances and cross-border transactions more accessible, which is crucial in dollarised nations where the US dollar is the main currency.

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