The tiny Pacific island nation of Marshall Islands has adopted “Sovereign” (SOV) as its National Cryptocurrency.
David Paul, Minister-in-assistance to the President, told media that the government will issue an initial coin offering or ICO later this year and exchanges will be allowed to apply to trade the currency as legal tender.
A law to this effect was passed by the country’s Parliament on Wednesday.
“This was specifically targeted for the long-term needs of the country,” the Minister was quoted as saying.
Marshall Islands President Hilda Heine said, “This is a historic moment for our people, finally issuing and using our own currency, alongside the USD.”
US dollar is the national currency of the former American colony.
Israeli finance news outlet Globes reported that there will be a presale of ‘Sovereign’ that will allow the country to raise initial prospects prior to the ICO.
10 percent of the proceeds from the ICO will be deposited in a Green Climate Fund to provide healthcare to locals affected by U.S. nuclear tests conducted in the area decades ago.
Located in the central Pacific Ocean between Hawaii and the Philippines, Marshall Islands is threatened by climate change and the possibility of sinking into the sea.
An archipelago of more than 1,100 islands with less than 60,000 inhabitants, Marshall Islands is best known internationally as an offshore tax haven.
It had signed a Compact of Free Association with the United States in 1986, and U.S. assistance is the mainstay of the Marshallese economy.
Marshall Islands is the second country to release its own cryptocurrency to strengthen its failing economy.
On February 20, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro launched the pre-sale of El Petro (PTR), the first national cryptocurrency in the world, to ease the country’s economic crisis, and circumvent U.S.-led sanctions.