Marshall Islands Strives to Establish a “Self-Sovereign Identity” By New Blockchain-Based Currency
The Marshall Islands’ project says its production of a digital sovereign currency, called SOV, strives to be a “game-changer.” It could also pioneer how governments reply to crises like the COVID-19 pandemic. Joel Telpner, chairman of Sullivan’s Fintech and Blockchain Practice and Marshall Islands crypto advisor, said that the project still faces “a lot” of difficulties ahead and still looks forward to making the work “rewarding.”
The current phase of SOV’s project
Telpner stated that the Islands’ government is recently in an 18-month phase. They’ll be publishing what’s called “preSOV,” which will later transform into SOV. He states: “That 18-month period allows us to issue the preSOV in stages and specify the amounts to test the infrastructure while we’re doing it so while preSOV is coming into the market, we’ll be able to test the network, we’ll be able to test the blockchain. We’ll test all the regulatory and compliance provisions, and we’ll be able to test the technology.”
The Sovereign Currency Act of 2018 passed on February 26, 2018, enabling the nation to commence expanding its digital currency project. As for the preSOV, the lawyer states they’re expecting to begin publishing the preliminary token within “the next couple of months.” They recognize that they still require to improve the way cryptocurrency is conferred to people who don’t have a technology background.
Telpner clarified, “What the Marshall Islands decided to do was to instead of issuing the currency all at once, which when you’re launching a legal tender, putting it in the market all at once is not a good idea.”
Other small nations could reference the Marshall Islands.
The Marshall Islands’ SOV advisor talked about how the project can be a strong reference for other countries who want to pursue the same path. They think that “this is a good way for the government to empower the people of their country” and to develop a “self-sovereign identity.”
On the role that these sorts of digital currencies could perform amid the COVID-19 crisis, Telpner commented: “Think about how much better and more efficient it would have been if we had a digital currency combined with a self-sovereign identity that would have allowed the government to quickly and efficiently get those payments of people that we’re entitled to them.”
Nevertheless, Telpner states that digital currency does not have to depend particularly on blockchain technology: “Whether or not blockchain solutions become a favored form of creating, issuing, and distributing digital currency, I think, is yet to be seen.”