basically I was having a history lesson in school and we were learning about inflation and how countries employed redenomination to save their suffering economies. I don't really understand how simply striking off zeros from a currency helps the economy.

Looking forward to fruitful answers, thank you for your time!


Redenomination under hyperinflation doesn't save the suffering economies. What it does is make it practical to pay for goods with cash, at least for awhile.

From Investopedia

When hyperinflation is involved, redenomination becomes necessary because it requires too many old notes to facilitate commerce effectively. For example, in Zimbabwe, the small bills formerly available become essentially useless if it requires a truckload of them to buy a loaf of bread which may cost five million Zimbabwe dollars.


In 2009, a third redenomination occurred, with one trillion ZWR being exchanged for one dollar of the new currency (ZWL). Despite the multiple redenominations, the inflation continued and ZWL continued to lose its buying power. By 2009 the U.S. dollar was the primary currency used in the country, and the Zimbabwe dollar mostly stopped circulating.

In 2015, the country began the process of abandoning the ZWL altogether and instead just using the U.S. dollar.

  • 2
    This actually brings up an interesting question.... 1) why have your own currency when you can use someone else's and 2) what can the US do about it ? – xyious Aug 9 '19 at 19:23
  • 2
    @xyious (1) so exchange rates can be used as an extra tool in fine-tuning the economy (2) not sure, but unless the foreign economy becomes sizeable compared to the US, it probably doesn’t matter much to the US. – Lawrence Aug 10 '19 at 9:15

It doesn't help the economy but it does help with calculating your change. If a currency has so many zeroes that the price of basic goods overflows calculators and cash registers it becomes even more difficult to buy and sell things.

Knocking a few zeroes off does nothing for inflation, it just simplifies adding and subtracting a little.

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