Marshall Island To Release Physical Copies of National Cryptocurrency

Wilfred Michael 

Wilfred Michael

News reporter

29 January 2019,
Marshall Island To Release Physical Copies of National Cryptocurrency

The government of Marshall Islands has partnered with Swiss-based smart card firm, Tangem, to help the country produce physical notes of the SOV national cryptocurrency it first announced in early 2018.

Speaking in a release about the new partnership, Minister David Paul who works directly with the country's President,  stated that the primary objective of the physical notes is to “ensure all citizens, including those living on more remote outer islands, are able to easily and practically transact using SOV."

Practically, the nation's government hopes that the availability of physical SOV cryptocurrencies will encourage citizens to have a “fair and equal access to their digital currency, whether or not they have an internet connection.”

Marshall Island had a population of just over 53,000 people in 2018 although a significant fraction of that number (over 60%) still have no access to the internet.

Features of Marshall Island's Physical Cryptocurrency

As per the announcement by Tangem, the new physical notes will:

  • Feature a blockchain-based microprocessor that combines the characteristics of a banknote with the security of blockchain.

  • Require zero fees from users

  • Require no internet connection from the end users

  • Feature immediate validation of transactions while also serving as a “controllable mechanism” for the government to distribute the new form of currency.

The latest move will arguably make Marshall Island, the first sovereign government in to release physical copies of a national cryptocurrency.

While countries such as Senegal and Venezuela has adopted national cryptocurrencies for different reasons, none of these regions has released a physical version of these innovative currencies.

On Monday, we reported that Iran would join the rank of nations to issue a Central Bank Backed Digital Currency (CBDC) when it releases it's crypto-rial later this week.

There have also been rumors of Russia launching a cryptocurrency that is pegged 1:1 against its fiat currency, Rubles. However, no concrete plans or timeline was announced.


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