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The New Taiwan dollar[I] (code: TWD; symbol: NT$, also abbreviated as NT) is the official currency used in Taiwan. Formally, one dollar (圓) is divided into ten dimes (角), and to 100 cents (分), although cents are never used in practice. The New Taiwan dollars has been the currency of Taiwan since 1949, when it replaced the Old Taiwan dollar, at a rate of 40,000 old dollars per one new dollar. There are a variety of alternative names to the units in Taiwan. The unit of dollar is usually written in simpler form as 元. Colloquially, the currency unit is called 塊 (kuài, literally "piece") in Mandarin, 箍 (kho͘, literally "hoop") in Taiwanese Hokkien, and 銀 (ngiùn, literally "silver") in Hakka.
Since the year 2000, the Central Bank of the Republic of China (Taiwan) is the central bank of Taiwan, which currently issues the New Taiwan dollar. While the Bank of Taiwan issued banknotes prior to 2000, it was also the de facto central bank between 1949 and 1961.
The adjective "new" (新) is only added in formal contexts where it is necessary to avoid any ambiguity, even though ambiguity is virtually non-existent today. These contexts include banking, contracts, or foreign exchange. The currency unit name can be written in 圓 or 元, which are interchangeable. They are both pronounced yuán in Mandarin. But they have different pronunciations in Taiwanese Hokkien (îⁿ, goân) and Hakka (yèn, ngièn). The name 仙 in Taiwanese Hokkien and Hakka for cent is likely from the hundredth unit 錢 (sen) of Japanese era Taiwanese yen or from English.
In English usage, the New Taiwan dollar is often abbreviated as NT, NT$, or NT dollar, while the abbreviation TWD is typically used in the context of foreign exchange rates. Subdivisions of a New Taiwan dollar are rarely used, since practically all products on the consumer market are sold in whole dollars. Nevertheless, banks do record cents (hundredth of dollar).
The New Taiwan dollar was first issued by the Bank of Taiwan on June 15, 1949, to replace the Old Taiwan dollar at a ratio of 40,000 to one. The first goal of the New Taiwan dollar was to end the hyperinflation that had plagued Nationalist China due to the Chinese Civil War.
After the communists captured Beijing in January 1949, the Nationalists began to retreat to Taiwan. China's gold reserve was moved to Taiwan in February 1949. The government then declared in the Temporary Provisions Effective During the Period of Communist Rebellion that dollars issued by the Bank of Taiwan would become the new currency in circulation.
Even though the New Taiwan dollar was the de facto currency of Taiwan, for years the silver yuan remained the legal currency. The value of the silver yuan was decoupled from the value of silver during World War II. Many older statutes have fines and fees given in this currency.
According to statute, one silver yuan is worth three New Taiwan dollars. Despite decades of inflation, this ratio has not been adjusted. This made the silver yuan a purely notational currency long ago, nearly impossible to buy, sell, or use.
When the Temporary Provisions were made ineffective in 1991, the ROC lacked a legal national currency until the year 2000, when the Central Bank of China (CBC) replaced the Bank of Taiwan in issuing NT bills. In July 2000, the New Taiwan dollar became Taiwan's legal currency. It is no longer secondary to the silver yuan. At this time, the central bank began issuing New Taiwan dollar banknotes, and the notes issued earlier by the Bank of Taiwan were taken out of circulation.
The exchange rate compared to the United States dollar has varied from less than ten to one in the mid-1950s, more than forty to one in the 1960s, and about twenty-five to one in 1992. The exchange rate as of December 2019 is NT$30.33 per US$.
The denominations of the New Taiwan dollar in circulation are:
Coins are minted by the Central Mint, while notes are printed by the Central Engraving and Printing Plant. Both are run by the Central Bank. The NT$1⁄2 coin is rare because of its low value, while the NT$20 coin is rare because of the government's lack of willingness to promote it. As of 2010, the cost of the raw materials in a NT$1⁄2 coin was more than the face value of the coin.
The current series of banknotes for the New Taiwan dollar began circulation in July 2000. This set was introduced when the New Taiwan dollar succeeded the silver yuan as the official currency within Taiwan.
The current set includes banknotes for NT$100, NT$200, NT$500, NT$1000, and NT$2000. Note that the NT$200 and NT$2000 banknotes are not commonly used by consumers. This may be due to the tendencies of consumers to simply use multiple NT$100 or NT$500 bills to cover the range of the NT$200, as well as using NT$1000 bills or credit/debit cards instead of the NT$2000 bill. Lack of government promotion may also be a contributing factor to the general lack of usage.
It is relatively easy for the government to disseminate these denominations through various government bodies that do official business with the citizens, such as the post office, the tax authority, or state owned banks. There is also a conspiracy theory against the Democratic Progressive Party, the ruling party at the time the two denominations were issued. The conspiracy states that putting Chiang Kai-shek on a rarely used banknote would "practically" remove him from the currency, while "nominally" including him on the currency would not upset supporters on the other side of the political spectrum that much (the Pan-Blue Coalition).
The year 2000 version $500 and 1999 version $1000 notes without holographic strip were officially taken out of circulation on August 1, 2007. They were redeemable at commercial banks until September 30, 2007. As of October 1, 2007, only the Bank of Taiwan (now the Central Bank of the Republic of China) accepts such notes.
100-dollar commemorative note
On January 6, 2011, the Central Bank of the Republic of China issued a new 100-dollar legal tender circulating commemorative in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Republic of China. The red paper note measures 145 × 70 mm and features a portrait of Dr. Sun Yat-sen on the front, and the Chung-Shan Building on the back. The design is no different from the ordinary NT$100 note, except for the Chinese wording on the reverse of the note, which reads "Celebrating 100 years since the founding of the Republic of China (慶祝中華民國建國一百年)".
Words in native languages