Currency in Brazil

The currency in Brazil is the Real (Reais pl.) pronounced with two syllables re – all. The currency code for the Brazilian Real is BRL and the symbol is R$. This is Brazil’s current currency. The first use of the word Real for the currency unit in (kwintessential, 2012) Brazil was in 1654 by the occupying Dutch who printed and circulated money bearing the name Real. In 1790, the Real was officially adopted as the official currency in Brazil. The Real remained the official currency in Brazil until 1942.

The real was re-introduced as the official currency of Brazil in 1994 after 30 years of proliferating inflation. It entered currency markets with a value identical to the US dollar and due to large capital inflows into Brazil and a tight control on exchange rates by Brazil’s Central Bank it surprisingly gained value against the US dollar to a value of $1.20 USD per R$1.

In 1999, a new president released the Central Bank’s control of the Real and it denigrated suddenly to R$2 for $1 USD. In 2002, political instability once again triggered a spike in inflation and the Real erratically spiraled downward to an all-time low of R$4 per $1 USD. By 2005, the Real was valued just over R$2 for $1 USD.

Current exchange rates for the Brazilian Real are approximately 2:1 USD that is R$2 BRL to $1 USD.
Prior to the Portuguese landing in Brazil in 1500, native Brazilians were mainly naked nomadic Stone Age hunters-gathers just beginning to move towards agricultural and did not have any currency system.

Today, Brazil is the 5th largest country population wise in the world and has the largest Roman Catholic population in the world. It is the world’s 9th largest oil producer with goals of becoming the 5th largest in the near future (kwintessential, 2012).

Currently, Brazil is the 6th largest economy on Earth. In 2014 they will host the World cup and in 2016 they will host the summer Olympics. You should expect to hear more about the Real, the currency in Brazil, as Brazil is anticipated to become the 5th largest economy in the world sometime in 2012 or 2013 (BBC News Business, 2012).

Works Cited

BBC News Business. (2012, March 6). Brazil ‘overtakes UK’s economy’. Retrieved July 18, 2012, from BBC:

kwintessential. (2012, April 2). Facts and Information about the Population and People of Brazil. Retrieved July 19, 2012, from kwintessential: