Over the past year, I’ve written quite a bit about the Iraqi dinar, the foreign currency that many self-appointed “gurus” try to convince buyers will suddenly “revalue” from being one of the most worthless currencies in the world to one of the most valuable. Dinar brokers sells bundles of the dinar that you can only buy in cash directly from Iraq, then you sit on it and wait for the Iraqi government (or President Obama, or the IMF, or whatever) to pull the trigger on boosting it hundreds of thousands of percent in value.
It doesn’t take a degree in finance to tell you that this is false. Many actual financial experts have debunked the myth of the Iraqi dinar “RV,” and while gurus have been promising for years that the magical day where millions of dinars turn into millions of dollars was right around the corner, it’s not, it never has been and it never will be. Iraq’s economy is nowhere near being able to support an electronically traded currency with serious value, and it might be a decade or more before that happens.
Fortunately, the dinar scam looks like it’s finally abating. There are numerous, well-written pieces by people at Forbes, Business Insider and others presenting well-researched and logical information about why the dinar is about as worthwhile an investment as magic beans.
Not only that, but law enforcement is starting to crack down on dinar brokers who exploit a loophole in currency law to sell cash as a collectable. Of the four dinar websites I mentioned in the piece, one, Sterling Currency Group has been raided by the FBI and shut down, while Bet on Iraq is now a dead link. Additionally, one of the most vocal dinar gurus, Anthony “TNT Tony” Renfrow, recently pled guilty to wire fraud in relation to a different prosperity scam – one that used many of the same techniques as the dinar.
But just as scams like the “Omega Trust” and NESARA begat the dinar scam, it’s only a matter of time before the resources put into selling and pimping this worthless currency is put toward selling and pimping some other worthless currency. Which one will it be? Here a few different national currencies to be on the lookout for as the next great money scam:
If there’s one other currency that dinar gurus love to sell along with the dinar, it’s the dong. Vietnam has a complex history when it comes to currency, one intertwined with the fractured history of the country. Both North and South Vietnam issued their own currency, both called the dong, in the 1950s. When Vietnam was united by the communist insurgency in 1975, the dong was also unified. It went through several redenominations, lopping zeroes off the inflated exchange rate with old currency exchanged for new. For decades, Vietnam struggled with inflation, counterfeiting, and the dong’s lack of value against other currencies.
Finally, in 2003, Vietnam introduced new notes that were harder to counterfeit, and it developed a new banking system designed to handle large transactions.
Even with all of these reforms, the dong is one of the most, if not the most, worthless currencies in the world. It currently trades for around 21800 to one dollar, and only in cash, not electronically. Like the dinar, you can buy them in cash from brokers working under the “money service business” loophole. Like the dinar, the dong is massively overprinted. And like the dinar, they take a massive cut, usually charging between 20 to 25% more than the value of what you’re getting. And finally, like the dinar, the dong has lost value in the past year, as it traded at 21175 to one dollar one year ago. Dongs are becoming less valuable, not more.
But that doesn’t stop “gurus” from hyping them as the next great currency to rise when the “global currency reset” happens. They seize on minor details, like some US banks carrying dong to exchange for dollars. But there’s a simple reason for this – more and more Americans are traveling to southeast Asia, including Vietnam. While dollars are accepted, shopkeepers will usually round their prices up when dealing with dollars, making items more expensive than using the local currency. It’s not part of any massive currency reset, it’s just tourism.
The dong is a viable currency to buy if you’re going to Vietnam. Other than that, it’s useless as an investment. The Vietnamese government might attempt to redenominate it again, but as we’ve discussed with the dinar, redenomination is not the same as revaluing – one is a real and legitimate technique to bring down inflation, the other is pie in the sky nonsense.
The rupiah is the currency of Indonesia, and while its pimping and selling are not quite at the level of the dinar or dong, don’t be shocked if it gets there. Way back in 1949, when Indonesia first gained independence, the rupiah traded for about 3.8 to one dollar. But hyperinflation hit almost immediately, and soon price controls had to be introduced. In the 70s, the rate was about 415 to the dollar, dropping even further going into the 80s. Despite Indonesia having a strong economy, the rupiah continued to drop in value, and crashed completely in August 1997.
In 2015, there was something of a gain, as money flowed into the country before its presidential election. But post-election, the rupiah crashed again, and hit a low of 13,000 to the dollar. Compare this to their value a year ago, which was 11710, and you have another currency that would have lost you much of your investment.
The country had vowed to redenominate the rupiah, but put that on hold while its economy stabilizes. In the meantime, unless you’re an experienced foreign currency trader (and chances are if you’re reading this, you’re not), stay away from the rupiah.
Everyone likes a big number, and the bigger, the better. So it made news when Zimbabwae, hit with crippling inflation, introduced a 100 trillion dollar note, it made international headlines. It was also the beginning of the end for the currency, as in 2009, Zimbabwe announced they’d be phasing out their currency altogether, and relying on foreign currencies like the US dollar. The zim will become completely demonetized by the end of 2015, though there are unwelcome rumors that the country is experimenting with printing new (most likely much lower) denominations.
At this point, Zimbabwean dollars are worthwhile only as collector’s items. They literally are about to have no value as actual money, and the country is attempting to get the last notes out of circulation. This admittedly makes those 100 bazillion dollar notes valuable, and the highest ones go for around 20-25 bucks on eBay. But even then, the market is flooded with them. You’re not going to get rich off any money coming out of Zimbabwae. Nobody ever has.
The Chinese yuan, South Korean won, and various other Asian and Middle Eastern currencies are also mentioned as being the “next currency” to be revalued, despite nothing being the previous one. Chances are, it won’t happen, for both simple and complex reasons.
As always, be skeptical of anyone touting the benefits of buying large amounts of a cheap currency with lofty promises for the future. They’re almost certainly not true.