Marshall Islands pushes ahead with national cryptocurrency project

12 Nov, 2018
by David Robb
Marshall Islands pushes ahead with national cryptocurrency project

The President of the Marshall Islands has survived a no-confidence motion that was proposed against her by senators. This means that President Hilda Heine is now free to go ahead with her national cryptocurrency project, which was a big part of the motivation for calling the vote in the first place.

Heine had first proposed the Sovereign, a new state-backed crypto to serve as legal tender alongside the US Dollar, back in February. It was intended to increase the financial independence of the Marshall Islands, which is increasingly reliant on foreign aid, particularly after a recent series of natural disasters.

The IMF and the U.S. Treasury both strongly opposed the idea, and the project was shelved as the country's parliament lost faith in the President, believing that she was damaging the international reputation of the Marshall Islands. This eventually led eight senators to call for a vote of no-confidence last week.

Read more: Marshall Islands rejects President's plans for national cryptocurrency

Heine survived the vote, as the parliament was split 16-16 and 17 votes were needed for the motion to pass. She is now planning to move forward with the crypto project, according to Nikkei Asian Review.

The Sovereign was initially proposed by an Israeli blockchain startup, Neema, which claimed that it could bring in around $30 million to the country's economy. Finance minister Brenson Wase has stated that the government is now waiting to meet requirements from the IMF and other international institutions before it launches the national crypto, which will be welcomed in what Heine calls a "historic moment for our people."

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