The transforming monetary function of gold in the modern global currency system

Finance and investments

The process of gold demonetization fixed by the Jamaica Agreement is rather controversial, which has been confirmed by the 2008 financial crisis. This crisis can be considered a trigger for returning gold back to the world monetary system. With all these factors taken into account, it is necessary to review the status of gold in the modern currency system. That is why the subject of this paper is up-to-date and relevant to the current situation. The paper considers the modification of the gold’s function, on the one hand, as a way to sort out the problems in the world monetary system; on the other hand, as a response to new gold market trends. In order to validate this hypothesis, the authors conducted a retrospective analysis of all available world monetary systems, and characterized the gold market using the principles of the systemic analysis. As a result, the authors found out the key trends of the gold market development, the main factors that determine a pricing trend in the post-crisis period. Revealing such potential instruments of using gold in the system of international payments and lending relations as "digital gold currencies", loans secured by gold, "gold loans", deposit interests paid in gold, the authors made a conclusion that gold keeps its function as a legal tender. The practice of quoting gold in USD has allowed to assume that gold still indirectly implements the function of account unit. The changing behavior of countries that are the owners of the main gold reserves, which now have now become gold buyers, and the aspiration of China, Russia and other developing countries to reallocate the world gold reserves confirm a new role of gold as global money. Thus, gold under circumstances of ongoing demonetization has actually gained the status of the most important international reserve asset. The above-stated conclusion is also supported by the decisions taken by IMF and other international organizations to regulate the gold market and to assign a new status to gold in the banking sector. The strengthening monetary functions of gold in the world currency system has brought back discussions about returning to the gold standard. This paper focuses on the arguments in favor of this proposal, and the factors impeding this process in modern conditions. However, the monetary functions of gold in the world currency system should stay a topic for debate, because the results of the study can be used for searching for effective ways to improve the world monetary system in order to make it more stable in the highly volatile global economy.