While the Republic of the Marshall Islands has not yet launched its Sovereign digital currency (SOV), officials have selected the Swiss crypto wallet maker Tangem to issue physical banknotes for the project. Tangem announced the news in a press release on Monday:
SOV is based on blockchain technology and allows fast, cheap, and global transactions while resisting the abuse by bad actors. The Tangem / SOV partnership is designed to ensure all citizens of the Marshall Islands have fair and equal access to their digital currency, whether or not they have internet connection. Thanks to the immediate transaction validation, zero fees and no Internet connection requirements for the end users Tangem banknotes will enable the off-chain physical circulation of the SOV among all SOV holders and will not impose the technical infrastructure burden on the RMI.
The notes will reportedly be issued as cards, and each will contain a secure, blockchain-powered microprocessor. The company claims that the banknotes will be “fully transparent, 100% secure, decentralized, and represent a controllable mechanism of currency issuance and circulation for the state.”
The Marshall Islands has been planning a national digital currency for some time and passed its Declaration and Issuance of the Sovereign Currency Act last February. The plan’s detractors include the International Monetary Fund, which last fall warned that the SOV could potentially disrupt the Marshall Islands’ relationship with U.S. banking interests, especially if the digital currency lacks acceptable anti-money-laundering protections.
Despite those warnings, the plan appears to be moving forward. Minister-in-Assistance to the President of the Marshall Islands David Paul confirmed the partnership with Tangem:
"We are excited to bring in Tangem as another reputable and forward-thinking partner on our journey to create the world's first sovereign digital currency. Tangem will help us ensure all citizens, including those living on more remote outer islands, are able to easily and practically transact using SOV."