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Morgan Stanley Warns ‘Paradigm Shift’ in Crypto Could Impact US Dollar Leadership

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In a recent publication, Morgan Stanley’s Head of Digital Assets, Andrew Peel, has cautioned about a potential “paradigm shift” in the perception and use of digital assets, emphasizing its potential impact on the U.S. dollar’s global dominance.

Peel highlights that the rising interest surrounding assets such as Bitcoin, the surge in stablecoin volumes, and the emergence of Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs) pose a significant challenge to the traditional role of the dollar in global finance.

Nation States Target Dollar Diversification

Despite the U.S. contributing 25% to global GDP, the greenback holds a dominant position, constituting nearly 60% of global foreign exchange reserves.

However, this dominance is facing increased scrutiny, with some nations exploring alternatives. Recent U.S. monetary policies and the strategic use of economic sanctions have prompted nations to reconsider their dependency on the dollar.

The European Union is actively working to increase the euro’s role in international trade, particularly in energy transactions and essential commodities, as part of a broader strategy to enhance the euro’s global standing.

Meanwhile, China is advancing the yuan in international trade through initiatives like the Cross-Border Interbank Payment System (CIPS), challenging the dollar-centric Clearing House Interbank Payments System (CHIPS).

Inter-governmental organizations like BRICS, ASEAN, SCO, and the Eurasian Economic Union also express interest in using local currencies for trade invoicing and settlements. This shift indicates a clear move toward reducing dollar dependency globally.

Digital Currency Revolution Causes Shift from US Dollar

As nations seek alternatives to the U.S. dollar, digital currencies and stablecoins are emerging as viable options, impacting international trade and finance. This shift, influenced by U.S. foreign and monetary policies and global competition, drives the move from the dollar in cross-border transactions and central bank reserves.

Bitcoin has played a key role in kickstarting the digital asset movement. Recently, U.S. regulators approved spot Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs), potentially signaling a shift in global perception and use of digital assets.

Stablecoins have become crucial in facilitating digital asset trading. The global adoption of dollar-linked stablecoins is growing, with transactions nearing $10 trillion in 2022, challenging payment giants like PayPal and Visa.

The rapid adoption of stablecoins has also fueled global interest in CBDCs, with 111 countries actively exploring them as of mid-2023. Peel recognizes CBDCs’ potential to establish a unified standard for cross-border payments, reducing reliance on intermediaries like SWIFT and dominant currencies like the U.S. dollar.

Peel concludes by urging global investors to closely monitor these developments, adapting their strategies to leverage opportunities in international markets and transformative financial technologies.

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