Why Supplanting the Dollar Would Be Good for America

The little-known SDR is making a play to become the world's reserve currency. Maybe that's good news

Illustration by Carl Wiens for TIME

For years we've been hearing that the U.S. dollar's days as the world's dominant currency are numbered. Remember when the yen was going to supplant it? Then came the euro. Next up: the yuan.

Or maybe not. In the past few weeks, another rival to the dollar — created in 1969 but dormant for most of the time since — has made a spectacular re-entry onto the world scene. It goes by the ungainly name of special drawing right (SDR), and it is the currency not of some foreign rival but of the Washington-based and traditionally U.S.-dominated International Monetary Fund (IMF)....