Hilda Heine – president of the Republic of Marshall Islands (RMI) – has announced that the country will proceed with plans for a national cryptocurrency. Heine has survived the country’s latest election, which means she’s looking to ensure the Marshall Islands’ future as a digital currency wavemaker.
Why Issue Such a Token?
The Marshall Islands have long been dependent on the U.S. dollar, and while the currency remains among the more stable forms of fiat, the nation is looking to enter its own period of economic growth and stamina while working to become a financially independent nation. The cryptocurrency – known as the “sovereign” – is slated to put the Marshall Islands on the greater monetary map.
Heine’s position as the nation’s leader was allegedly up for grabs as the Marshall Islands parliament had been considering removing her from office. The organization’s final vote tally ended in a complete split of votes; 16 for Heine to stay, and 16 for Heine to step down. With the tie, Heine is set to continue in her role as the country’s head of state.
Heine Is Back on the Throne
Many members of parliament had felt that her desire for a state-led cryptocurrency was a bad idea, and ultimately wanted her removed from power for suggesting such a “tumultuous” notion. It was widely stated among non-believers that issuing a national cryptocurrency would somehow mar the country’s reputation and ability to establish itself economically.
Following the vote, however, RMI’s finance minister Brenson Wase confirmed that the Marshall Islands has every intention of launching the sovereign into circulation granted it meets present requirements set by regulators from Europe, the United States, and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
How It All Began
Plans for the sovereign were first introduced in early 2018. Government ministers had originally announced that they would be introducing a national currency through an initial coin offering (ICO), which was designed to be used as legal tender.
Last month, the IMF issued a warning to Heine and her staff to ditch their plans to release the sovereign if they didn’t want to be cut off from the U.S. dollar altogether. At the time of writing, the country still uses USD to access critical monetary funds designed to alleviate the effects of inflation.
Heine, to her credit, has shown that she is not willing to surrender her ideas regarding a national cryptocurrency, and her win amongst parliament members is only likely to push things along even further.
Is the Marshall Islands’ idea for a national cryptocurrency a mistake, or will it usher in a new period of economic stability and independence? Post your comments and thoughts below!
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