The national currency of Mexico today is called the Mexican peso. Mexican money originates from the Spanish dollar system of currency prevalent in North America during the era of Spanish Imperialism. In fact, the Spanish dollar was widely used in colonial USA and Canada until the first half of the 19th century. Mexican peso is denoted by the dollar sign ($) and is listed in the international exchange index using the acronym MXN.
The silver Spanish dollar was the original basis of Mexican money and was a pioneer in thwarting money counterfeits by issuing specifications like exact weight and definitive borders on old Spanish coins. This made the Spanish dollar very popular and in 1785 it became the official system of currency in all of North America. When the US dollar was first introduced in 1792 its value was pegged to the Spanish dollar at the equivalent exchange rate of 1 peso to 1 dollar. Only when Mexico gained independence from Spain in 1821 did the country start minting and printing an exclusive currency.
The Mexican peso has been a highly stable currency overcoming inflation until the nation was hit by an oil crisis in 1970. Mexico is an export-driven economy and the oil industry accounts for a huge percentage in government revenue. The Mexican peso has undergone waves of devaluation that in 1993 the currency underwent a revamp and was renamed ‘Nuevo peso.’ In 1996 new banknotes and coins were issued and released in circulation—however, the reference ‘Nuevo’ was dropped and Mexican money is simply known today as ‘peso.’
The Bank of Mexico—the nation’s central bank—is in charge of administering monetary policy and issuing banknotes such as $20, $50, $100, $200, $500 and $1000 MXN and 50¢, 1$, 2$, 5$, and 10$ Mexican peso coins. In Mexican currency, one peso is equivalent to a hundred centavos. Unlike many of its regional neighbors in Latin America, Mexico has enjoyed a relatively more stable economy for the majority of the 20th century. In recent years is has become one of the fifteen more widely traded world currencies as a result of a stable economy and rise in foreign direct investments. The exchange rate of the Mexican peso was about $12.39 to $1 US dollar in 2010.