Marshall Islands in Pacific Ocean to develop own cryptocurrency: report

A small island nation in the Pacific Ocean with a population of 75,000 is moving forward with developing its own cryptocurrency, according to a report Thursday.

The Marshall Islands, located between Hawaii and the Philippines, will develop a blockchain-based national currency called the Marshallese sovereign or SOV, Bloomberg reported, citing a statement from the country.

The Marshall Islands says it will develop its own cryptocurrency. 

The Marshall Islands says it will develop its own cryptocurrency.  (Facebook/Republic of the Marshall Islands)

David Paul, an environment minister and presidential cabinet member, spoke of the project during a conference in Singapore on Wednesday.

“With the blockchain technology in place, we thought this was an opportune time to establish our own legal tender,” Paul said. “As a small country, it’s going to be easier and faster for us to make decisions and respond to the market.”

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Before developing the new currency, the country must first resolve compliance and regulatory issues with the U.S. Treasury and International Monetary Fund, Paul said.

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The announcement comes as other nations or entities have announced similar projects. In June, Facebook announced plans to develop a digital currency called the Libra. And in August, the People’s Bank of China said it was close to issuing its own cryptocurrency.