A national cryptocurrency for the Marshall Islands is still being actively developed, despite previous disagreements among government officials on the subject, a blog post from the team behind the coin revealed Jan. 10.
In the recent post, the team behind the coin — dubbed Sovereign (SOV) — revealed that it had made “significant progress in finding partners, investors, and developers” to realize the project. As the post states, the team is aiming to launch SOV in 2019.
The team behind the state-backed crypto includes former Secretary General of the Bank for International Settlements, Dr. Peter Dittus, as the project’s Chief Economist.
The project also announced a new partnership with “smart banknotes” firm Tangem, a start-up operating from Switzerland and Singapore.
The Marshallese parliament had initially supported the development of the national digital currency, according to a report in February, 2018. The cryptocurrency was set to be used along with with the United States dollar, which the country uses as its official currency.
In September, the project received criticism from major financial organizations, including the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the U.S. Treasury Department. The IMF warned about the potential risks of using a cryptocurrency as legal tender, stating that “the potential benefits from revenue gains appear considerably smaller than the potential costs arising from economic, reputational, AML/CFT, and governance risks.”
In November, the country’s President Hilda Heine narrowly survived a vote of no confidence, in part due to her administration’s plans to introduce a national digital currency.