What is the BRICS currency, Its Value, and Significance? What you need to know

From trade imbalances to the shifting dynamics of the US dollar, delve into the complexities surrounding the proposed BRICS currency and its path to realization.

Aug 26, 2023 - 09:03
Aug 25, 2023 - 09:04
What is the BRICS currency, Its Value, and Significance? What you need to know
What is the BRICS currency, Its Value, and Significance? What you need to know

Leaders from five powerful nations gather at the BRICS summit to discuss a revolutionary idea - creating a new currency in the bustling city of Johannesburg, South Africa. The BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) countries are emerging economic powerhouses seeking to reshape the world's economic and trade systems. As they converge to deliberate on this audacious proposal, the world watches with bated breath. Let's delve into the fascinating realm of the BRICS currency, exploring its origins, significance, challenges, and potential impact on the global financial landscape.

The Genesis of BRICS

The acronym BRIC, born in 2001 from the intellectual womb of Goldman Sachs analyst Jim O'Neill, highlighted the economic prowess of Brazil, Russia, India, and China. These nations showcased GDP growth surpassing even that of the G7 countries – the United States, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the United Kingdom. Intriguingly, by the end of 2000, these four emerging economies already accounted for roughly 23.3% of the global GDP. Recognizing their potential, discussions about including BRIC representatives in the G7 group began to gain momentum.

In 2006, the four original BRIC nations formalized their alliance, aiming to contribute to the global economy collectively. By 2011, South Africa joined their ranks, transforming BRIC into BRICS. Remarkably, BRICS now boasts a cumulative GDP contribution surpassing that of the G7 nations, with their combined economic activity constituting almost a third of the world economy.

BRICS' Ambitions and Goals

While BRICS still needs to be equipped with its currency, it aspires to create alternative economic and trade systems that can operate independently from the Western-dominated status quo. One of their core objectives is to reduce reliance on the US dollar, a currency that often dictates global financial dynamics. The leaders of BRICS understand that the strength of the US economy can lead to a stronger dollar, adversely impacting other currencies. They seek to mitigate this vulnerability by exploring avenues to increase trade amongst themselves using their national currencies.

The BRICS nations have indeed made strides in this direction. Russia and China, driven by their desire to counteract America's influence on the global economy, have consistently championed this cause. Their shared vision involves promoting the use of national currencies in international trade, thus lessening their dependence on the US dollar.

BRICS' Ambitions and Goals

The BRICS Currency: Dream or Reality?

The idea of a unified BRICS currency is a tempting prospect, yet it faces numerous challenges on the road to fruition. The intricate dynamics of trade imbalances pose a formidable obstacle. While China is the dominant trading partner for all BRICS members, their mutual trade remains relatively modest. Establishing a BRICS currency would necessitate economic convergence and the creation of a banking union, fiscal union, and a joint central bank.

Experts like Herbert Poenisch, a senior fellow at Zhejiang University, emphasize that a BRICS currency represents a monumental political project. It requires careful orchestration of various economic and regulatory mechanisms, each tailored to align the divergent economies of these nations.

BRICS and the US Dollar

The BRICS nations' collective resolve to shift away from the US dollar is a significant development in the global financial landscape. While the US dollar has long been the dominant currency, its dominance has faced challenges. Last year's strengthening of the dollar, combined with geopolitical tensions, caused some nations to consider alternatives. The dollar's share of official foreign exchange (FX) reserves declined, reaching a 20-year low. However, it still retains a powerful presence, accounting for a substantial portion of global forex transactions.

The journey toward de-dollarization has its challenges. It necessitates widespread adoption by global players, from exporters and importers to borrowers and currency traders. To move away from the dollar, the world must embrace many currencies, reshaping the foundation of global trade.

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As the BRICS leaders convene in Johannesburg to deliberate the prospect of a new currency, the world witnesses the dawn of a potential paradigm shift in global finance. While challenges abound, the idea of a unified BRICS currency speaks to their ambition to assert economic independence and reshape the existing financial order. As the BRICS nations endeavor to lessen their reliance on the US dollar, they navigate uncharted waters that may redefine how nations trade, interact and wield economic influence on the world stage.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

 What is BRICS, and why is it significant? 

BRICS is a group of five emerging economies – Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa – that aims to reshape global economic and trade systems. Its significance lies in its potential to create an alternative to Western-dominated financial dynamics.

 Is a BRICS currency a reality? 

Currently, a BRICS currency remains a proposed idea. While the leaders discuss the possibility, challenges such as trade imbalances and economic convergence must be addressed before they become reality.

How does BRICS plan to reduce reliance on the US dollar?

BRICS nations intend to promote using their national currencies in international trade. By trading more amongst themselves using their currencies, they aim to lessen their dependence on the US dollar.

 What are the challenges in creating a BRICS currency? 

Establishing a unified BRICS currency requires overcoming trade imbalances, fostering economic convergence, and creating institutions like a standard central bank and fiscal union. It's a complex political and economic endeavor.

How does the US dollar compare to a potential BRICS currency?

While the US dollar maintains its dominance in global finance, the BRICS leaders' efforts to diversify away from it have triggered a decline in its share of foreign exchange reserves. However, de-dollarization presents numerous challenges.

What is the goal of the BRICS countries? 

BRICS aims to reshape the global economic landscape and reduce dependence on Western financial systems. The group strives for economic independence and a fairer distribution of economic power.

What are the benefits of using national currencies in trade?

Using national currencies for trade can mitigate the impact of a strong US dollar on other economies, promote economic cooperation among BRICS nations, and reduce vulnerability to exchange rate fluctuations.


The information presented in this article is based on current discussions and proposals within the BRICS summit and the global economic landscape. It is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute financial or investment advice. The complexities of international finance and the potential outcomes of the discussed initiatives may vary and require careful consideration. Readers are encouraged to seek professional financial advice before making any decisions based on the information provided in this article.

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Joseph Richard Joseph is a graduate of Mathematics and Computer Science (Applied Option). With expertise in Technology and Finance, he brings his knowledge to the field, demonstrating an authoritative understanding of these interrelated areas. Joseph is pursuing a Master's in Software Engineering, further expanding his skill set.