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A small island nation with less than 60,000 inhabitants best known internationally as a former test site for nuclear weapons is joining the hottest new trend – issuing a national cryptocurrency. The planned Marshall Islands’ Govcoin is expected to be issued later this year.
Marshall Islands Govcoin ICO
The Republic of the Marshall Islands plans to issue its own cryptocurrency as an official legal tender, to be known as the Sovereign. The local parliament voted this week to proceed with the issuing plan, Kenneth Kedi, a senator and the body’s speaker, said in a Bloomberg interview. A council still has several days to object, a step he considers unlikely.
The Sovereign is expected to be issued later this year, David Paul, minister-in-assistance to the president revealed. The Marshall Islands government will arrange an initial coin offering (ICO) and exchanges will be allowed to apply to trade the currency, he said. The move is seen as a way to bolster local budgets, he added. “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, Paul said.
The National Crypto Trend
There have been discussions for the last few years among central bankers about issuing national cryptocurrencies, mainly as an effort to to create a ‘cashless society’ or to try and answer the attraction to bitcoin by young people, as they see it. However, this trend has gotten a lot stronger recently, apparently because of the government of Venezuela pushing its own Petro.
The actual potential value of such national cryptocurrencies is still in doubt. For citizens, these digital currencies will not offer the alluring freedom from state control of bitcoin if they are really managed by the government. And if they are not run by the state then they will offer no benefit to central bankers. As the Russian Ministry of Finance recently informed President Vladimir Putin, the creation of a centralized coin seems impossible, as cryptocurrencies are based on decentralized ledgers.
By Avi Mizrahi
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