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In the foreign exchange market and international finance , a world currency , supranational currency , or global currency refers to a currency that is transacted internationally, with no set borders. In the 17th and 18th century, the use of silver Spanish dollars or "pieces of eight" spread from the Spanish territories in the Americas westwards to Asia and eastwards to Europe forming the first worldwide currency.
It was legal tender in Spain 's Pacific territories of the Philippines , Micronesia , Guam and the Caroline Islands and later in China and other Southeast Asian countries until the midth century.
It was also used in other European states including the Austrian Habsburg territories. Prior to and during most of the 19th century, international trade was denominated in terms of currencies that represented weights of gold. Most national currencies at the time were in essence merely different ways of measuring gold weights much as the yard and the meter both measure length and are related by a constant conversion factor.
Hence some assert that gold was the world's first global currency. The emerging collapse of the international gold standard around the time of World War I had significant implications for global trade.
Before , the world reference currency was the United Kingdom 's pound sterling. The transition between pound sterling and United States dollar and its impact for central banks was described recently. In the period following the Bretton Woods Conference of , exchange rates around the world were pegged to the United States dollar , which could be exchanged for a fixed amount of gold.
This reinforced the dominance of the US dollar as a global currency. Since the collapse of the fixed exchange rate regime and the gold standard and the institution of floating exchange rates following the Smithsonian Agreement in , most currencies around the world have no longer been pegged to the United States dollar.
However, as the United States has the world's largest economy, most international transactions continue to be conducted with the United States dollar, and it has remained the de facto world currency. Understanding the International Economic Order For decades the dollar has also been the world's principal reserve currency; in , the dollar accounted for approximately two-thirds of the world's foreign exchange reserves", as compared to about one-quarter held in euros see Reserve Currency.
Some of the world's currencies are still pegged to the dollar. Some countries, such as Ecuador, El Salvador, and Panama, have gone even further and eliminated their own currency see dollarization in favor of the United States dollar. Only two serious challengers to the status of the United States dollar as a world currency have arisen. During the s, the Japanese yen became increasingly used as an international currency,  [ citation needed ] but that usage diminished with the Japanese recession in the s.
More recently, the euro has increasingly competed with the United States dollar in international finance. The euro inherited its status as a major reserve currency from the German mark DM and its contribution to official reserves has increased as banks seek to diversify their reserves and trade in the eurozone expands. As with the dollar, some of the world's currencies are pegged against the euro. Other European countries, while not being EU members, have adopted the euro due to currency unions with member states, or by unilaterally superseding their own currencies: As a result of the rapid internationalization of the renminbi ,   as of it was the world's 8th most widely traded currency.
At the end of November, , the Chinese renminbi was designated as one of the world's global currencies, and became one of the currency in the currency basket known as special drawing rights. On 16 March , in connection with the April G20 summit , the Kremlin called for a supranational reserve currency as part of a reform of the global financial system.
In a document containing proposals for the G20 meeting, it suggested that the International Monetary Fund IMF or an Ad Hoc Working Group of G20 should be instructed to carry out specific studies to review the following options:.
On 24 March , Zhou Xiaochuan , President of the People's Bank of China , called for "creative reform of the existing international monetary system towards an international reserve currency," believing it would "significantly reduce the risks of a future crisis and enhance crisis management capability.
US President Obama , however, rejected the suggestion stating that "the dollar is extraordinarily strong right now. The coin, an example of a future world currency, emphasized his call for creating a mix of regional currencies as a way to address the global financial crisis. It would be backed by the huge oil reserves of the oil producing countries. An alternative definition of a world or global currency refers to a hypothetical single global currency or supercurrency , as the proposed terra or the DEY acronym for Dollar Euro Yen ,  produced and supported by a central bank which is used for all transactions around the world, regardless of the nationality of the entities individuals, corporations, governments, or other organizations involved in the transaction.
No such official currency currently exists. Advocates, notably Keynes ,  of a global currency often argue that such a currency would not suffer from inflation, which, in extreme cases, has had disastrous effects for economies. In addition, many  argue that a single global currency would make conducting international business more efficient and would encourage foreign direct investment FDI. There are many different variations of the idea, including a possibility that it would be administered by a global central bank that would define its own monetary standard or that it would be on the gold standard.
A limited alternative would be a world reserve currency issued by the International Monetary Fund , as an evolution of the existing special drawing rights and used as reserve assets by all national and regional central banks.
On 26 March , a UN panel of expert economists called for a new global currency reserve scheme to replace the current US dollar-based system. The panel's report pointed out that the "greatly expanded SDR special drawing rights , with regular or cyclically adjusted emissions calibrated to the size of reserve accumulations, could contribute to global stability, economic strength and global equity. Another world currency was proposed to use conceptual currency to aid the transaction between countries.
The basic idea is to utilize the balance of trade to cancel out the currency actually needed to trade. In addition to the idea of a single world currency, some evidence suggests the world may evolve multiple global currencies that exchange on a singular market system.
The rise of digital global currencies owned by privately held companies or groups such as Ven  suggest that multiple global currencies may offer wider formats for trade as they gain strength and wider acceptance.
Blockchain offers the possibility that a decentralized system that works with little human intervention could eliminate squabbling over who would administer the world central bank. Some economists argue that a single world currency is unnecessary, because the U. In the present world, nations are not able to work together closely enough to be able to produce and support a common currency. There has to be a high level of trust between different countries before a true world currency could be created.
A world currency might even undermine national sovereignty of smaller states. The interest rate set by the central bank indirectly determines the interest rate customers must pay on their bank loans. This interest rate affects the rate of interest among individuals, investments, and countries.
Lending to the poor involves more risk than lending to the rich. As a result of the larger differences in wealth in different areas of the world, a central bank's ability to set interest rate to make the area prosper will be increasingly compromised, since it places wealthiest regions in conflict with the poorest regions in debt.
In Christianity and Judaism, adherents are forbidden to charge interest to other adherents or to the poor Leviticus Islam forbids usury, known in Arabic as riba. Some religious adherents who oppose the paying of interest are currently able to use banking facilities in their countries which regulate interest. An example of this is the Islamic banking system, which is characterized by a nation's central bank setting interest rates for most other transactions.
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Please discuss this issue on the article's talk page. The US Dollar top and the euro are by far the most used currencies in terms of global reserves. This section does not cite any sources.
Please help improve this section by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. April Learn how and when to remove this template message. External adopters of the US dollar. Currencies pegged to the US dollar. External adopters of the euro. Currencies pegged to the euro. Globalization from Genesis to Geneva: A Confluence of Humanity.
Retrieved 13 August Osborne 29 November A History of Greater California. Lessons for the US Dollar? San Jose, Armida, ed.
Retrieved 9 February Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication. Retrieved 10 October Retrieved 25 March BBC News, 24 March AFP, 25 March Retrieved 18 November AFP, 26 March Retrieved 27 March Why Islam is against lending money at interest". Proposed eurobonds Reserve currency Petroeuro World currency. Andorra Monaco San Marino Vatican.
British pound sterling incl. European Union portal Numismatics portal. Global governance and identity. United Nations Parliamentary Assembly World government. Anti-nationalism Cosmopolitanism Counter-hegemonic globalization Democratic globalization Democratic mundialization Global citizenship Global governance Globalism Internationalism Transnational governance World currency World taxation system.