By Daniel Hunter

Zimbabwe has started to phase out its 'virtually worthless' currency after years of hyper-inflation, which at one point reached 500,000,000,000%...that's 500 billion per cent.

The Zimbabwean government, led by President Robert Mugabe, will start exchanging "quadrillions" of local dollars for US dollars.

Zimbabwe started using the US dollar and South African rand in 2009 after its own currency hit its peak of 500 billion per cent in 2008. At its worst, prices were rising twice a day.

Governor of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, John Mangudya, said in a statement that people with a bank account prior to March 2009 will be able to transfer the balance into US dollars from Monday. And they have until September to hand in their old bank notes.

Emphasising the scale of inflation in Zimbabwe, the Reserve Bank will pay US $5 for up to 175 quadrillion Zimbabwean dollars, and those with more than 175 quadrillion Zimbabwean dollars will receive $1 for every 35 quadrillion Zimbabwean dollars.