Marshall Islands cryptocurrency comes down to 12 November vote
An interesting, risky addition to the cryptocurrency ecosystem will be voted on soon.
It was to be called the Sovereign, or Sov for short. However, its plans were put on the rocks with a report from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) which strongly suggested that the Marshall Islands scrap the project, and might now be washed away entirely by an impending vote of no confidence in current Marshall Islands president Hilda Heine, The Guardian reports.
The vote is scheduled for 12 November.
Split down the middle
The IMF report pointed at the risk of money laundering and cyber threats, and the chance of the Marshall Islands losing its last correspondent banking relationship as a result of introducing the Sov, as grounds to reconsider its plans.
In the background, there might also have been lingering concerns that the Marshall Islands was being taken advantage of by the firm that approached it with the plans in the first place. President Heine, who initially supported the introduction of the Sov, was less concerned.
"I don't see any indication of us being harmed... this is not an illicit activity. This is not illegal and our laws will not be tarnished," Heine said.
Whether the Sov is ever created might come down to the vote. Radio New Zealand (RNZ) says parliament is nearly evenly split between Heine's supporters and the opposition party.
The vote was introduced by eight senators who gave a list of grievances, including plans for the Sov, which had spurred the vote. The plans had tainted the country's reputation and seen the Marshall Islands criticised by major financial organisations, including the IMF and US treasury department, said senator Casten Nemra.
The Marshall Islands is in a precarious position, faced with the need to grow its economy to help shore up defences ahead of rising sea levels, and the need to prepare for a reduction in foreign aid once existing agreements with the USA run out, so it might not be able to afford to disregard the potential for unforeseen consequences emerging from the introduction of the Sov. At the same time, business as usual might not provide the needed growth fast enough. Heine has had a lot of success engaging with donors so far, RNZ notes, and a successful Sov ICO might help bring in some much-needed funds.
It's likely that a lot of people will be watching the vote with interest. A national legal tender cryptocurrency that isn't the Petro would be an interesting addition to the cryptocurrency ecosystem.
Disclosure: At the time of writing the author holds ETH, IOTA, ICX, VET, XLM, BTC, ADA