BRICS Crafts a New Currency to Challenge the US Dollar’s Dominance

Published: 8 May 2024

The world’s five major emerging economies have bunched together in an alliance known as BRICS, aiming to create a new currency alternative to the US dollar for international trade. BRICS is an acronym representing Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa. Originally coined as “BRIC” before the inclusion of South Africa in 2010, the group’s members are known for their significant influence on regional and global affairs; all are members of the G20. They are distinguished by their large, fast-growing economies and significant influence on regional and global affairs.

This strategic initiative reflects a significant shift towards enhancing economic independence among these nations. By contemplating the introduction of an alternative currency, BRICS is not only challenging the hegemony of the US dollar but also signalling a broader realignment of global economic power dynamics.

### Strategic Advantages of a BRICS Currency

The development of a BRICS currency offers several strategic advantages:

1. Enhanced Economic Sovereignty: The introduction of a new currency is aimed at reducing the dependency on the US dollar, which is subject to fluctuations influenced by US domestic policies and global economic conditions. This move could potentially shield the BRICS economies from external shocks and provide them with greater control over their economic policies.

2. Sanctions Resistance: For countries like Russia and potentially China, which face the threat of Western sanctions, an alternative currency could serve as a crucial tool to bypass the financial barriers imposed by such punitive measures. This would enable them to maintain trade flows and financial stability in the face of geopolitical tensions.

3. Reduced Transaction Costs: Trading directly in their own currencies, or a common BRICS currency, could eliminate the need for conversion into and out of US dollars, thus lowering transaction costs and simplifying the process for businesses and governments alike.

4. Symbolic Shift: Strategically moving away from the US dollar also represents a challenge to US financial dominance globally. It underscores a desire among emerging powers to promote a multipolar world order where economic leadership is more widely distributed.

### Challenges and Global Implications

Despite the potential benefits, the creation of a BRICS currency is not without challenges. The diverse economic policies, political systems, and priorities of the BRICS countries could complicate the currency’s implementation. Moreover, achieving the level of trust and stability that the US dollar enjoys, backed by the US government’s economic clout and political stability, will be a formidable challenge.

However, should the BRICS succeed in establishing a new currency, the implications for the global economy could be profound. A shift away from the dollar in international trade could lead to more balanced global economic development. It would also weaken the United States’ ability to exert influence through economic sanctions and control over the financial architecture that underpins global trade and finance.

### Conclusion

The push by BRICS to develop an alternative currency signifies a bold stride towards reshaping the global financial landscape. It reflects a growing assertiveness among emerging economies to not just participate in the global economy but to actively shape its future. The successful establishment of a BRICS currency would not only diversify the global financial system but could also herald a new era of economic cooperation among developing and emerging economies around the world, creating a more equitable and balanced economic order.