Countries whose de facto currency is the U.S. dollar

I was reading a book on the end of the USSR, and it noted by 1990 many Soviet businesses would only accept U.S. dollars or other hard currency. And other places would give you better treatment if you paid in dollars than rubles. In countries where the dollar is not the official currency, where are U.S. dollars still preferred over the local currency for transactions?



If your currency is unstable or not worth anywhere near the “official” value, then the best option is to resort to something that is both stable and available. Since the US Dollar is the defacto World Currency, and is readily available pretty much everywhere, it fits the bill.

Fun fact, the US dollar is actually the de jure currency of Ecuador. They just gave up all pretense and ditched their own currency officially in 1999-2000.

EDIT: okay, I didn’t read the OP clearly enough the first time, and s/he wants cases where the US dollar isn’t the official currency. My bad.

IIRC, they’re also very fond of our dollar coins, as they hold up better than bills, and it’s not like they’ve the the UST coming in and swapping out their old nasty dollars for crisp new ones all the time.
Also, see wikipedia for a starter list.

Honduras, though my experience is with a tourist destination and it might be different in less visited parts of the country.

That’s not a very good list. Panama has used the US dollar as its legal currency for its entire existence, so its de jure instead of de facto. (Panama has its own coins, but all paper currency is US. Prices may be given in either dollars or “balboas,” the official name of the local currency.) In addition to Ecuador, the US dollar is also the de jure currency in El Salvador (which no longer uses colones at all, although prices are expressed in it).

I know this used to be true, but is it still true even since the Euro has become established?

Bermuda, when I was there ('86).

Actually, now that I recall, Bermuda has its own currency - which is pegged to the US dollar and which uses the same denominations - pennies, nickles, dimes, and quarters. The coins are identical in size and composition to US coins, differing only in the face design.

What good does it do to “peg” (not sure what that means actually, though I’ve heard it a lot) a currency of your own to an already existing currency? If you aren’t very careful with how much you mint/print, then nobody’s going to end up using it, pegged or not. Right?

Back in the previous decade, there was some speculation that the Euro might supplant the US dollar on the world stage, but it never happened. And since there was period of years where people were honestly thinking that the Euro might cease to exist, even the talk of the possibility has vanished, at least for now.

I’ve been to Jamaica dozens of times, and never changed any money. They happily accept US cash everywhere I’ve been (granted, mostly touristy spots). In fact, they get all disappointed if you hand them Jamaican money!

Several come to mind (These countries have their own currencies, but dollars are taken and traded as much or more than local currency):

[li]The Dominican Republic[/li][li]The Bahamas[/li][li]Haiti[/li][li]Nicaragua[/li][/ol]

Hotel prices in Turkey, even for Turks, are often quoted in dollars.

What do you mean by “official currency”? Take Panama, for instance: Officially, the country’s currency is the Balboa, but the exchange rate is nailed down that 1 Balboa = 1 USD. Does the polite fiction of the separate name make a difference?

The Cayman Island dollar is pegged at $1.25 U.S. or at least it was when I was there in 1999. They would accept either. Hotels, and probably other places, would change it all back to you when you were leaving at the same rate with no fee. I thought that was a clever idea because prices would look cheap.

In Perú you can pay with dollar in any place that isn’t a small town. It has a happy coexistance with our own Nuevo Sol.

The bigger spuermarket will show you the total in both soles and dollars.

Panama’s not a good example since the US dollar is official currency too - it’s not just an equal exchange rate. As I said above, paper balboas don’t exist.