a bunch of coins and bills
History & Culture

Taiwan currency : The New Taiwan Dollar

Taiwan’s official currency is the New Taiwan Dollar and its abbreviation is TWD. In printed dollar amounts, it is sometimes abbreviated as NT$ or NT. In Mandarin, prices are often quoted in yuan (元 / 圓 – ㄩㄢˊ), although conversationally kuai (塊 – ㄎㄨㄞˋ) is often used. Although the New Taiwan dollar can technically be subdivided, practically everything sold in Taiwan is quoted in whole dollars, as cents are currently not in used anymore.

Drawing of Taiwan currency

Currently in use Coins and Bills


The coins in circulation include NT$1, NT$5, NT$10, and NT$50 pieces, along with a rarely used NT$20 piece.


TWD is available in banknote denominations of NT$100, NT$500, and NT$1,000. There are also NT$200 and NT$2,000 notes, although they are not commonly used.

All new taiwan dollar coins and bills

Exchange Rate

Over the past two decades, the currency has traded in a wide range of NT$28 to NT$35 per USD.

Brief History of the New Taiwan Dollar

Though most people know the country simply as Taiwan, its official name is the Republic of China, which was established in China in 1912. Therefore, Taiwan’s central bank is called the Central Bank of the Republic of China (Taiwan). This should not be confused with the People’s Bank of China, which is the central bank for the People’s Republic of China.

The first currencies used in Taiwan were Dutch and Spanish silver coins brought to the island by traders in the 1600s. After Taiwan came under the administration of the Qing Dynasty beginning in 1662, Chinese silver taels circulated alongside foreign silver. Copper coins issued by the Kingdom of Tungning also circulated in Taiwan.

Between 1895 to 1945, Taiwan fell under the control of Japan. The Bank of Taiwan was established in 1899 and given the responsibility of issuing silver and gold certificates that could be exchanged for coins.

The Old Taiwan Dollar (1946 to 1949)

Japan surrendered the island at the end of World War II, and the Republic of China, led by Chiang Kai-shek and the Nationalist Party, then took control of Taiwan. On May 20, 1946, the Bank of Taiwan began issuing the Taiwan dollar (which later became known as the Old Taiwan dollar). It introduced $1 and $500 notes featuring the portrait of Dr. Sun Yat-sen, who is considered the founder of modern China. Due to hyperinflation, a $10,000 note was introduced in 1948, followed by promissory notes with a face value as high as $1 million in 1949.

The hyperinflation was caused by the civil war between the Nationalist party and communist forces, which resumed hostilities after the conclusion of World War II. Chiang Kai-shek fled to Taiwan with the Republic of China government in 1949, leaving the communist party to establish the People’s Republic of China.

The New Taiwan Dollar (1949 to present day)

On June 15, 1949, the provincial government in Taiwan replaced the Old Taiwan dollar with the New Taiwan dollar at an exchange rate of 40,000 to 1. The Central Bank of the Republic of China resumed operations in 1961, but the Bank of Taiwan continued to issue the currency under its auspices. At first, the New Taiwan dollar was only used in Taiwan, but later became the medium of exchange in other areas still controlled by the Republic of China, such as the outer lying islands of Kinmen and Matsu.

The New Taiwan dollar was not the national currency of the Republic of China, which was now a government in exile. The job of issuing the national currency still belonged to the Central Bank of China, which was first established in Guangzhou, China in 1924. The silver dollar was legally, though not in practice, the national currency in the Republic of China until 1992. The New Taiwan dollar, on the other hand, was viewed as a provincial currency, largely because Chiang believed that his Nationalist Party would one day retake the mainland.

Between 1992 and part of 2000, the Republic of China had no “official” currency. On July 1, 2000, the Central Bank of the Republic of China (Taiwan) replaced the Bank of Taiwan as the issuer of the New Taiwan dollar, elevating it from a provincial to a national currency. Since then, the New Taiwan dollar has been known simply as the Taiwan dollar, without the “new.”

Understanding the history and evolution of Taiwan’s currency provides insight into the unique economic and political landscape of Taiwan, and highlights its significance in the global financial system.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s