World biggest economies looking for USD alternatives
The USD might suffer the repercussions of Washington's actions soon enough as numerous countries move to abandon the greenback.
As the United States grew into the behemoth it has been for nearly the past century and started weaponizing its currency, which has become a staple on the global market, treated as the default banknote used in international trade and for setting the price of oil, smaller nations and major economies have begun delving into de-dollarization in a bid to relieve themselves from growing US pressure.
The nations in question, at least a dozen of which are in Asia, are experimenting with de-dollarizing their economies in a bid to circumvent the greenback's negative influence. This also comes as a ton of corporations around the world are selling large portions of their debt in local currencies, according to Bloomberg.
With the dollar's might and standing within the international arena, it would be quite a daunting task to take it from the pedestal it has been on for decades, especially as it has been the chief medium of exchange between various nations.
However, just like this, it was not expected for countries to explore payment mechanisms circumventing the greenback or the SWIFT mechanism that has the entire world's financial system in a chokehold. But now it's a different story.
The sanctions imposed on Russia under Biden over the Ukraine war, which include the country's exclusion from the SWIFT system, prompted new technological prowess and innovations to emerge, replacing the US-controlled system and encouraging countries from all over the world to abandon ship toward the alternatives.
Read next: Russia moves from SWIFT to more secure mechanisms: Official
According to Russian Deputy Minister Alexander Pankin, Russia believes that a gradual shift from the SWIFT interbank payment system to more secure channels for sending financial information protected from external pressure is necessary.
"This is a forced, but completely natural decision in an environment where Russian banks and their clients regularly encounter problems with routine international payments," Pankin said in November.
"We are certain that not only Russia, but also other pragmatic states, of which there are many, are interested in the emergence of a truly unbiased and independent of Western countries' changing moods international payment infrastructure," the diplomat stressed.
The weaponization of the dollar has fired back against the United States, putting it in a corner as the rest of the world seeks other means of development away from those under Washington's hold.
Both China and Russia are already mulling means of promoting their currencies for international payments, including through the use of blockchain technologies, with Moscow kicking off remuneration for energy supplies in rubles.
Bangladesh, Kazakhstan, and Laos have also been holding intense talks with China on the issue as India has been increasingly talking about the internationalization of its currency, the rupee.
Russia getting sanctioned showed that Washington would not stop at anything to achieve its political interests, a main concern for China and India, as the latter has been developing its own national payment systems that could serve as an alternative to SWIFT.
Russia started developing its own national payment system when the US targeted it with sanctions in 2014. Back then clients of several Russian banks were temporarily unable to use Visa and Mastercard due to the restrictions.
Launched in 2017, Mir is a Russian banking system, meaning both "peace" and "world" in the language. With the West's current isolation measures of Russia, Iran, Cuba, and other countries from the SWIFT banking system, friendlier alternatives have been on the rise in a bid to combat the West's economic hegemony and aggression.
Since the introduction of the new system, Russian banks have already issued more than 129 million MIR cards. They are currently accepted in Turkey, Vietnam, Armenia, South Korea, Uzbekistan, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, South Ossetia, and Abkhazia.
Last week, the Iranian finance ministry's banking and insurance department said that Iran could join the Mir payment system within months of when talks between Tehran and Moscow reach a conclusion. This, according to Qorban Eskandari, the department's head, could be in the very near future.
Earlier this month, Indian media reported that the country’s ATMs and terminals may soon start accepting Russian MIR debit and credit cards, while Russia was planning to reciprocate and begin accepting Indian RuPay.