The Real is the currency of Brazil and is represented by the symbol “R$” and the international code “BRL.” The currency is divided into cents, and both notes and coins come in various denominations. The most common notes include R$ 2, R$ 5, R$ 10, R$ 20, R$ 50, R$ 100, and R$ 200. Additionally, there are R$ 1 coins and cent coins of R$ 0.05, R$ 0.10, R$ 0.25, and R$ 0.50.

What is the currency used in Brazil?

Over the years, the country has gone through various currencies and monetary systems. Before the Real, one of the most well-known currencies was the Cruzeiro, which was in use until the mid-1990s. However, rampant inflation during that time made the Cruzeiro nearly worthless, leading to the introduction of the Plano Real.


The Real, launched in July 1994, was an effort by the Brazilian government to control inflation and stabilize the economy. As part of this plan, the Real was introduced as a new currency. Since then, the Real has been the official currency of Brazil and is widely accepted throughout the country.

The currency was introduced during the presidency of Itamar Franco, through his Minister of Finance, Fernando Henrique Cardoso. After several failed economic plans and multiple currency changes (Réis, Cruzeiro, Cruzeiro Novo, Cruzado, Cruzado Novo, back to Cruzeiro and Cruzeiro Real), Fernando Henrique was determined to develop an effective plan to control inflation.

The Real, as a model, successfully stabilized the rampant inflation that plagued the Brazilian economy. This was largely due to the adoption of a fixed exchange rate system linked to a basket of currencies led by the U.S. dollar. To illustrate the impact of this plan, the Brazilian currency reached its highest quotation on March 31, 1995, when R$ 1.00 was equivalent to US$ 1.20.

Brazilian History
Matheus Araújo
Founder and Editor at Brazilian History | Website

Matheus is an entrepreneur at Araujo Media, where he serves as CEO and Creative Director. He shares analyses on his personal blog "matheusaraujo.me" and is currently pursuing a degree in Advertising and Propaganda. Moreover, he has a passion for history, particularly that of Brazil, which led him to become the founder and editor of the Brazilian History portal.