The Marshall Islands Pushes ahead with State-Backed Cryptocurrency

Hilda Heine, the President of the Marshall Islands, recently survived her vote of no confidence. According to an article from Nikkei Asian Review’s published on November 13, 2018, Heine is pushing ahead with the plan to introduce Sovereign, the state-backed cryptocurrency for the Marshall Islands.

Heine Survives the Vote of No Confidence

BTCManager reported last week that Heine received a vote of no-confidence due to her controversial plan to introduce Sovereign. Heine has recently survived the vote of no confidence as the parliament was split 16 to16, and her opponents failed to gain the extra vote needed to oust her from leading the country and remaining as the nation’s head of state.

After the vote, Brenson Wase, the Finance Minister of the Marshall Islands, mentioned that the government would move ahead with their state-backed cryptocurrency. They are currently waiting to meet requirements from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Europe, and the United States.

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The 67-year-old president has been the leader of the Marshall Islands since 2016. The Marshall Islands is currently home to over 54,000 people across 29 coral atolls, located in the Central Pacific. The islands also have been previously occupied by Japan and Germany and are currently an associated state of the United States.

The IMF has urged them to reconsider releasing a digital currency as it could pose additional economic and reputational risks, along with potentially facilitating money laundering and terrorist financing. Officials, however, see the launch of a cryptocurrency as a great way to provide the Marshalls financial independence.

The Sovereign Will Be Recognized in Law as Legal Tender

According to DW, Heine suggested that a state-backed cryptocurrency could be a new “historic moment for our people, finally issuing and using our own currency. [It] is another step of manifesting our national liberty.”

Neema, the Israel startup behind Sovereign, convinced the Marshall Island leaders that undergoing an initial coin offering (ICO) could also provide the country with at least $30 million. The island country fit the criteria well and the state-backed cryptocurrency, unlike the Venezuelan Petro, will be recognized in law as a legal tender and would hold equal status with the U.S. dollar.

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