The birr (Amharic: ብር) is the unit of currency in Ethiopia. Before 1976, dollar was the official English translation of birr. Today, it is officially birr in English as well. In 1931, the Emperor of Ethiopia, Haile Selassie I, formally requested that the international community use the name Ethiopia (as it had already been known internally for at least 1,600 years) instead of Abyssinia, and the issuing Bank of Abyssinia also became the Bank of Ethiopia. Thus, the pre-1931 currency could be considered the Abyssinian birr and the post-1931 currency the Ethiopian birr, although it was the same country and the same currency before and after. 186 billion birr were in circulation in 2008 ($14.7 billion or €9.97 billion).