The Danish krone (DKK) is the official currency of Denmark and is used by the Danish autonomous territories of the Faroe Islands and Greenland. Ranking as the 13th most traded currency in the world, the krone has a fascinating history dating back to the medieval period and continues to be an important part of the Danish economy today.

History of the Danish Krone

The krone has origins dating back to the late 8th century AD when silver coins called kronemønter were first minted under the reign of King Harald I. These early coins featured the name of the king and the word “croyne” which later evolved into the word “krone”, meaning crown in Danish.

For several centuries, various coins including the hvid, skilling and rigsdaler circulated alongside regional currencies. It wasn’t until 1873 during the Scandinavian Monetary Union that Denmark moved to the gold standard and formally adopted the krone as its standard unit of currency, replacing the rigsdaler.

The krone was initially pegged to gold at a rate of 2,480 kroner = 1 kilogram of pure gold. This gold standard was later abandoned during World War I. Following periods of inflation and the Great Depression, Denmark returned to the gold standard from 1926 to 1931 at a new peg of 2,752 kroner = 1 kilogram of pure gold.

Once again abandoned during World War II, the krone saw periods of devaluation to adjust for inflation over the coming decades. In 1999, Denmark declined to adopt the euro as its currency, affirming the importance of the krone as a symbol of national sovereignty.

DKK Currency Denominations

Danish krone banknotes are issued in denominations of 50, 100, 200, 500 and 1000 kroner while coins represent 1, 2, 5, 10 and 20 kroner. The coins feature iconic national symbols like Queen Margrethe II and the Danish lion coat of arms.

Recent design updates include enhanced security features on the DKK banknotes like motion threads and window threads. Some key design elements include:

  • 50 kroner – Features the Danish Family Dance and intricate patterns. The color is purple.
  • 100 kroner – Depicts the Runic Stone in Jelling and has a red color scheme.
  • 200 kroner – Portrays the beech forest of Store Dyrehave and is green in color.
  • 500 kroner – Shows a Viking silver bracelet from the 900s AD against a turquoise background.
  • 1000 kroner – Illustrates the Danish runic alphabet on a warm yellow background.

DKK Exchange Rate System

The Danish krone utilizes a floating exchange rate system, meaning the krone price is determined on the foreign exchange market based on supply and demand relative to other currencies.

Denmark’s central bank, Danmarks Nationalbank, does conduct open market operations including interventions when needed to smoothen volatility. But in general, they allow free market forces to determine exchange rates.

The krone is most closely tied to the euro as it maintains a narrow +/- 2.25% fluctuation band relative to the euro through the Exchange Rate Mechanism II. Outside of this euro band, the krone can float freely based on forex trading.

Benefits and Drawbacks of the Danish Krone

The Danish krone provides unique benefits and drawbacks for Denmark’s economy:


  • Independent monetary policy from the Eurozone
  • Adjustable exchange rates to maintain competitiveness
  • Limited currency risk and transaction costs from euro trades


  • Higher volatility than more stable currencies like USD or EUR
  • Potential for imported inflation due to currency fluctuations
  • Lost benefits of a common currency area with the euro

Overall, Denmark seems to favor retaining its sovereign currency. But the debate continues on whether adopting the euro could boost trade and economic coordination with the EU.

Factors Impacting DKK Exchange Rates

Many complex factors can influence the value of the Danish krone on forex markets, including:

  • Relative Economic Growth – Stronger growth and productivity strengthens the DKK.
  • Interest Rates – Higher rates raise the krone by attracting capital flows into Danish assets.
  • Inflation Levels – Low and stable inflation supports the krone’s purchasing power.
  • Political Events – Geopolitical uncertainty and risk can weaken the krone.
  • Central Bank Policy – Dovish policy like rate cuts could depreciate the currency.
  • Investor Sentiment – Risk appetite for carry trades and other factors sway sentiment.
  • Euro Value – Euro strength or weakness impacts the krone within its ERM II band.

Trading the DKK in the Foreign Exchange Market

The Danish krone is traded on the foreign exchange (forex) market 24 hours a day, 5 days a week. The krone is commonly traded in popular currency pairs like:

  • EUR/DKK – Euro vs. Danish Krone
  • USD/DKK – U.S. Dollar vs. Danish Krone
  • GBP/DKK – British Pound vs. Danish Krone

The most active trading hours tend to be when European and U.S. forex trading sessions overlap, providing the greatest liquidity.

Forex brokers allow traders to speculate on DKK movements and profit whether the krone rises or falls in value. Leverage up to 50:1 is typically available but also amplifies risk, requiring the use of responsible risk management.

The Danish Krone Outlook

Moving forward, the fate of the Danish krone will depend significantly on how the economy emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic and related lockdowns.

Analysts expect Denmark’s GDP to rebound strongly in 2021 by 3-4% after a 4% contraction in 2020. Inflation remains subdued.

With monetary policy stimulative and the financial system resilient, the Danish krone looks positioned to hold steady at stronger levels as the economy recovers from the coronavirus shock over the next 1-2 years.

However, downside risks remain from potential new COVID strains, inflationary impacts, and weakness in the euro. Traders will watch for signals from Danmarks Nationalbank on the krone’s path ahead. But for now, the Danish crown seems aptly positioned to reign.


The Danish krone has a rich history intertwined with Denmark yet retains its relevance in today’s global forex marketplace. Its free floating exchange rate provides both benefits and drawbacks for the nation.

From its origins as the silver krone coins of medieval kings to serving as a modern symbol of sovereignty, the krone remains an iconic currency. For investors and multinational corporations alike, understanding DKK trends and exchange rate drivers will be key to navigating its fluctuations.

The Danish krone has withstood the test of time and will continue evolving to support Denmark’s economic interests over the years to come. It remains one of the world’s most widely traded and stable currencies.