Open Access

The Official Use of International Currencies – Assessments and Implications


The paper analyses the official use of international currencies as reserve currency (store of value) and anchor currency (unit of account). Examining the role as a reserve currency we note that the US dollar is the main reserve currency even if it recorded a decline given the decrease of the value of the US dollar reserve holdings and the gradual diversification of the currencies used. Since 2010, the euro's share decreased continuously may be due to the Eurozone crisis and the euro's depreciation against the US dollar. Then we show that the US dollar dominates as an anchor currency, though it was temporary abandoned during crisis time, having more than a regional dimension. At the same time, the use of the euro in exchange rate arrangements appears mainly in the regions that have close links with the euro area. Over the last few years, we have witnessed a gentle orientation towards a multimonetary world, especially regarding the use of the international currencies as reserve currency given the diversification of the currencies in which central banks understand to hold international reserves and the increasing share of the nontraditional currencies in total foreign exchange reserves.