The Marshall Islands is in full gear to kick off plans to issue its own cryptocurrency as their official legal tender, which will be known as the Sovereign or SOV. It’s being developed in partnership with the Neema payment platform.
If this pulls through, the Sovereign is expected to supplement the U.S. dollar as its legal tender.
The local parliament voted this week to proceed with the issuing plan to adopt the “Sovereign” which will commence with a presale and Initial Coin Offering (ICO) later in 2018. The dates are yet to be announced.
In an interview, Kenneth’s Kedi, the speaker of the Nitijela noted that the council still has several days to raise an objection, a step he considers unlikely.
David Paul, Minister-of-Assistance to the president revealed that “ The Marshall Islands government will arrange an initial coin offering (ICO) and exchanges will be allowed to apply to trade the currency, he said. He also said that the move is seen as a way to boost the local budget.
Paul went further to add that, “this was specifically targeted for the long-term needs of the country A portion of the funds raised in the ICO offering will also be used to finance health care to islanders still affected by US nuclear weapons testing in the area decades ago.”
SOV users will identify via an SOV blockchain, and when they choose so, will be able to easily demonstrate and verify the sources of funds. This will differ from Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, in that it would not be anonymous.
This development comes on the heels of discussions for the last few years among central bankers about issuing national cryptocurrencies, in a bid to create a ‘cashless society‘. However, this trend has gotten a lot stronger recently, apparently because of the government of Venezuela pushing its own national Cryptocurrency, the Petro.
SOV is based on a new ‘Yokwe framework’ which unlike bitcoin framework will require users to identify via the blockchain and therefore solves the issue of anonymity that hindered bitcoin and other cryptos from mainstream use.