The IMF recently announced that they are considering to classify the Australian dollar and the Canadian dollar as reserve currencies due to “more signs of stability in the fallout of the 2008 financial crisis than the world’s biggest developed economies”
In reality, the international monetary system has already began to factor in such changes even without the IMF’s blessings.
Notes the BCA Research (bold mine)
From about 2% of total reserves in 2009, the allocation to “other currencies” has risen to over 5%. The Canadian and Australian dollars probably account for the vast majority of this increase.To be sure, the IMF’s announcement is only a recognition of what central banks have been doing. It does not make the Canadian and Australian dollars any more attractive. Nevertheless, the shift into alternative currencies is a trend that is likely to persist. Global FX reserves total over $11 trillion, so a 1% change in currency allocation during the span of a year amounts to more than $100 billion.A large sum for relatively small economies like Canada and Australia to absorb.
The BCA further adds that central bank policies have been prodding on such shifts… (bold mine)
Zero bound short term interest rates, ballooning central bank balance sheets, large fiscal deficits and worrisome government debt levels are forcing investors, in both the public and private sectors, to seek out relatively sound alternatives to the major currencies.
Translation: "sound" currencies emanate from central bankers whom have been relatively less engaged into destroying their currencies.
And that the major beneficiaries, aside from CAD and AUD, according to the BCA, are the Norwegian Krone (NOK) and the Swedish Krona (SEK)
Well, I would add that gold should pass the reserve currency litmus test, as central bankers mostly from emerging markets have began to stack up on gold as (currency) reserves (chart from wikipedia.org). Gold is even being considered as assuming a role in the global banking system's capital standard regulation.
Gold reserves held by central banks have been in a secular decline for about 47 years, this trend appears to have reversed since the Lehman crisis.