The bancor was an international currency that was proposed by John Maynard Keynes, as leader of the British delegation and chairman of the World Bank commission, in the negotiations that established the Bretton Woods system, but was never implemented.

It was to be initially fixed in terms of 30 commodities of which one would be gold. It would stabilise the average prices of commodities, and with them the international medium of exchange and a store of value.

The Americans made a comparable plan for reform that included a world currency called the unitas. At Bretton Woods in 1944 U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt told Henry Morgenthau, Jr. (Treasury Secretary) to prepare for an international currency to be implemented after World War II. Harry Dexter White at the US Treasury formulated plans for the unitas.

In practice, up until the collapse of the Bretton Woods system in 1971, gold itself filled this role, with the US dollar fixed to gold and many other currencies fixed to either the US dollar or directly to gold.

There have been variations on the model of the bancor recently, such to have bancors for regional trade organizations such as the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), ASEAN, etc. In this model the commodities that would be placed into the pool would be limited to a fixed number of the currencies of the partner nations, and this would be done on an annual basis with agreement on prerequisites for withdrawal.

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