The ongoing international reserve paradigm based on trust will experience a major transformation despite being convenient, flexible and low-cost. The underlying issue is a loss of trust. Due to the massive financial sanctions imposed on Russia and other states, traditional reserve currencies have lost their footing, compromising confidence in international reserves. Consequently, countries will need a comprehensive revision of their reserve asset management options. This paper overviews these options, which range from trade-offs to non-orthodox solutions. In total, we list twelve options, which can be categorized into three groups according to their novelty and “degree of orthodoxy­.” The first group implies countries can expand the use of available instruments, i.e., investments in gold, renminbi, and currencies of friendly countries, and enlarge the network of swap lines and the toolbox of sovereign wealth funds. In the second group, options call for the introduction of new mechanisms for international reserves functions, such as accumulating physical resources and private cryptocurrencies­, issuing stablecoins by central banks, and building up assets of regional financing arrangements. The third group includes options to shift the energy standard (currency) paradigm and establish a synthetic international currency or form a macroeconomic paradigm with no international reserves. Furthermore, applying our analysis, we move beyond Russia and look at the issue from the perspective of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization members and observers, as it is a leading platform where countries openly discuss this matter.

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