Any nation’s currency has the potential to be strong depending on its trade capacity and weight relative to other currencies that are in use at the time. Around 80% of global trade today is conducted in dollars. Approximately 39% of all loans in the world are made in US dollars, and 65% of all dollar supply is used outside of the US. 

The majority of trading nations around the globe accept dollars as payment, which is surprising. For this reason, foreign nations and banks require the dollar for international trade. This article will explain why the dollar is regarded as the world’s strongest currency. Since January 2017, the Indian rupee’s value against the dollar has decreased by almost 11%.

United States of America Currency

historical perspective on the dollar’s power:

Before the Bretton Woods Agreement was made in 1944, most countries based the value of their currencies on the price of gold. But after the Bretton Woods Agreement was signed in 1944, the dollar gained widespread acceptance, and member nations decided to fix their currencies’ exchange rates in terms of the dollar.

At the beginning of the 1970s, most countries started to demand gold from the US in exchange for their currency. This was a way to fight rising inflation, but it led to the US running out of gold. Nixon, the US president at the time, breached the agreement to swap dollars for gold starting in 1971. Since then, supply and demand have determined the exchange rate of many currencies.

But prior to this fresh beginning, the dollar had already established itself as a widely used currency, a trend that has persisted to this day.

Why USD is Termed As World Currency

A world currency is one that is used in international trade. The majority of overseas transactions accept some of the world’s currencies. The U.S. dollar, euro, and yen are the three most widely used currencies. A global currency may also be referred to as a reserve currency.

The International Monetary Fund says that the U.S. dollar is the most used currency. Over 60% of all known central bank foreign exchange reserves were held by it as of the fourth quarter of 2019. Despite having no official title, this makes it the de facto world currency.

The euro comes in second as a reserve currency. 20% of the known foreign currency reserves of central banks are made up of it. The euro’s chances of becoming a major reserve currency in the world have been hurt by the crisis in the eurozone. It demonstrated the challenges of a monetary union governed by different political bodies.

The world’s strongest currency is the US dollar.

The dollar’s value is supported by the U.S. economy’s relative strength. Because of this, the dollar is the most potent currency. The U.S. has $2.04 trillion in the money supply as of the end of 2020. It’s estimated that up to half of that value is in circulation elsewhere. Latin America and the former Soviet Union are home to many of these bills. In everyday transactions, they are frequently used as physical currency.

Dollar dominance is evident in the foreign currency market. The dollar is used in around 90% of all currency transactions. The International Standards Organization List lists 185 different currencies; the dollar is just one of them. However, the majority of these currencies are exclusively utilized within the respective nations.

Dollars are used to issue over 40% of global debt.

Because dollars are used to issue over 40% of global debt, a large number of dollars are required for foreign banks to operate. During the financial crisis of 2008, this became clear. Foreign currency-denominated international liabilities held by non-American banks totaled $27 trillion. A whopping $18 trillion of the total was in US dollars. Because of this, the U.S. Federal Reserve was forced to expand its dollar swap line. That was the only option to prevent the dollar supply in the world’s banks from running out.

World's major currency

The use of the dollar increased as a result of the financial crisis. The banks of Germany, France, and the United Kingdom held more liabilities in dollars in 2018 than in their own currencies. Furthermore, bank restrictions that were put in place to stop another crisis may make money hard to come by. That may also occur if the federal funds rate is raised by the Federal Reserve. Making it more expensive to borrow money reduces the amount of money available.

Governments are prepared to keep dollars in their foreign exchange reserves due to the dollar’s strength. Through their international dealings, governments obtain currencies. Additionally, they get them from local businesses and tourists who exchange them for local money.

Some nations choose to invest their foreign currency reserves. China and Japan purposefully purchase the currencies of their top trading partners. The US is both China’s and Japan’s largest export partner. They work hard to keep their currencies low in comparison to the rest of the world so that their exports are priced fairly.

The dollar’s current standing

The dollar’s current standing can be attributed to the 1944 Bretton Woods Accord. As mentioned earlier. Most nations used the gold standard up until that point. Their governments made a pledge to exchange their money for its worth in gold upon demand. 

The industrialized nations of the globe gathered in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire, to fix the dollar exchange rate for all currencies. The United States had the most gold reserves at the time. Through this deal, other countries were able to back their currencies with dollars instead of gold.

Beginning in the early 1970s, governments started to demand gold in exchange for their currency. They had to stop inflation. The dollar and gold were split by President Nixon so that Fort Knox wouldn’t lose all of its reserves. 

The dollar had already established itself as the main reserve currency by that point. However, removing the dollar’s link to its value in gold led to stagflation. that combines slow growth and inflation.

Proposals for a Single World Currency

China and Russia demanded the creation of a new global currency in March 2009. They wanted the world to have a reserve currency that wasn’t tied to any one country and could be stable over time. This would make up for the problems that come with using national currencies based on credit.

China was worried that if dollar inflation started, its trillions of dollars would lose all of their value. This could happen if the US spends more than it earns and prints more Treasury bills to pay for its debt. China requested that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) create a new currency to take the place of the dollar.

In the fourth quarter of 2016, the Chinese renminbi became a new reserve currency on the world market. The IMF estimates that as of the first quarter of 2020, central banks around the world will have $221 billion. That’s a small portion of the $6.8 trillion in US currency owned, but it will increase in the future. 

China plans to let its currency be fully traded on the world’s foreign exchange markets. It wants the yuan to overtake the dollar as the dominant world currency. China is changing its economy to do this.

Following a convention, the US dollar became the world’s reserve currency. The meeting in 1944 was made possible by the Bretton Woods Agreement, which was signed by 44 countries.

The majority of currencies can take the place of the dollar and act as reserves. However, due to its dominance, the world finds it difficult to replace. Also less prevalent than the US currency is the Indian rupee.

Indian major Currency Rupees

What Exactly Do You Mean by “Reserve Currency”?

A reserve currency is any type of currency that governments and large institutions hold in large amounts. Government institutions can use these currencies to pay for things internationally and keep the value of their own currencies up.

A bank, organization, government, central bank, or other monetary authority keeps and manages a large amount of foreign currency or precious metal as a reserve currency.

Through international trade and investment, nations participate in the global economy using these currencies.

Simple definitions of a reserve currency include these:

  • It has the breadth and liquidity to carry out worldwide business effectively and safely.
  • You can change and use these currencies freely and easily with their assistance.
  • Large amounts of it are held by numerous monetary authorities and organizations.
  • In the middle of the 20th century, the US dollar was adopted as the world’s reserve currency. 

Why does the dollar outperform other currencies?

Between the Indian subcontinent and the US, both the Indian National Rupee and the US Dollar are accepted as legal money. But in both of these countries, both of these currencies serve as legal tender. In the United States and India, respectively, the USD and INR are accepted as forms of payment. There are a number of reasons why certain currencies are acceptable, including:

1. All-around Acceptability

Everyone should accept that currency, according to the general acceptance principle.

2. Unit of Account

The fact that an account has a unit means that it can be used to change the real price of a monetary good.

3. The Value Store

If it is stocked, its price shall not be reduced in accordance with the store’s value.

4. The Mode of Exchange

Being a medium of exchange means that it can be used for trading goods and services.

Dollars and rupees both satisfy the aforementioned requirements; hence, they were adopted as the national currencies of India and the United States, respectively. The rupee, on the other hand, is not widely used when different countries trade goods and services with each other.

While practically all countries accept the usage of the dollar, the diamond, the Special Drawing Rights (SDR) of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and other large currencies (the Japanese Yen, Euro, etc.) as a medium of exchange, Dollars are now used as an international currency and as reserve money. The rupee, on the other hand, continues to be exclusive to India.

Why Does the Dollar Have Greater Strength Than the Indian Rupee?

For one clear reason, the US currency dominates the rupee. The majority of India’s international commerce and debt is in US dollars. Because of this, the INR/USD exchange rate goes up automatically every time the dollar index goes up.

The dollar index rate has had a big effect on the value of the rupee in the US and Indian economies for many years.

All currency available presently

Final Verdict

Even though the United States owes other countries trillions of dollars and always have big deficits, other countries still have a lot of faith in their ability to meet their obligations. As a result, the American dollar continues to be the world’s strongest currency. It might stay at the top of the list of world currencies in the years to come.

But the top spot currently held by the dollar is up for debate. In our increasingly connected global economy, a new one-world currency that is not backed by any one country is long overdue, say China and Russia. The US is the most powerful reserve currency right now because it holds 61% of the world’s foreign reserves.


The author’s views are his or her own. The facts and opinions in the article have been taken from various articles and commentaries available in the online media and Eastside Writers does not take any responsibility or obligation for them.

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