The Republic of the Marshall Islands has been using the US dollar since 1979. But in a new Bloomberg report and a statement from a senior Marshall Islands official, that could all change as the country with a population of 75,000 could soon issue a sovereign currency in digital form – using blockchain technology.
David Paul, the environment minister and minister-in-assistance to the president of the Republic of the Marshall Islands, spoke last Wednesday at Invest: Asia 2019 conference in Singapore about a new blockchain-based national currency.
“With the blockchain technology in place, we thought this was an opportune time to establish our own legal tender” and lessen the nation’s dependence on the dollar, Paul said in an interview from the sidelines of the conference.
“As a small country it’s going to be easier and faster for us to make decisions and respond to the market” as a digital coin is introduced.
Last year the Marshall Islands passed the Sovereign Currency Act, with the intentions of launching a new currency, the Marshallese sovereign (SOV), which will be used alongside the dollar using blockchain technology.
Paul said no launch date had been established for SOV, as compliance and regulatory issues are still being figured out, along with supervision from the US Treasury and the International Monetary Fund.