In a bold move, the Republic of the Marshall Islands plans to launch a government-issued cryptocurrency very soon, according to house speaker and senator Kenneth Kedi. The currency will be called Sovereign (SOV) and was approved by parliament just this week.
The official currency of the Marshall Islands is the USD, and they plan to circulate the Sovereign as well as the dollar. There will be an ICO of the state-issued coin before the end of 2018. This move will rank the Marshall Islands as the first nation to use a cryptocurrency as legal tender. Other countries who are considering the same idea include Turkey and Iran. Venezuela had already launched its oil-backed cryptocurrency, Petro, earlier this month.
Lawmakers in the Marshall Islands believe this is a positive step forward for their country and will address numerous concerns. They intend to use money from the ICO to help pay for healthcare for citizens, especially those affected by former U.S. nuclear testing. Other plans for the revenue include climate change and green energy.
President Hilda Heine said, “This is a historic moment for our people, finally issuing and using our own currency, alongside the USD. It is another step of manifesting our national liberty.”
The Marshall Islands, with a population of just 53,000, has now become the first test subject of cryptocurrency as a government-issued legal tender. Only time will tell what this means for the future of such currency for other nations.