A huge penalty recently imposed on the French bank BNP Paribas for sanctions-breaking has intensified talk of the end of the U.S. dollar’s international reign. Remember, the currency most favored around the world does change: the U.S. dollar replaced the U.K. pound, which itself replaced the Spanish real. Many have suggested the Chinese yuan is the next logical usurper (though the Chinese themselves have promoted the IMF’s bundle of currencies instead). But what about the euro?
Currently, the euro is the second most widely held currency in the world after the U.S. dollar, making up about 25 percent of all currency holdings: