Swiss Startup To Create ‘Physical Banknotes’ For Marshall Islands’ SOV Cryptocurrency


Switzerland-based crypto Tangem is to begin producing “physical blockchain notes” for the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the hardware wallet maker recently announced.

The startup said that the “banknotes” would be produced as the Marshall Islands prepares for the launch of its national digital currency- the Sovereign (SOV).

According to the Swiss blockchain-based smart card wallet provider, the blockchain notes will store the SOV, which the republic is developing for use as an alternative to the country’s legal tender.

The island nation will accept both the SOV and the U.S. dollar once it is successfully issued.

Per the announcement, the Tangem card comes as “a unique physical banknote,” and is secured with a blockchain-enabled microprocessor. Protected by blockchain, the notes come with several positives of the emerging technology.

They are not only decentralized but also fully transparent; representing what Tangem says is “a controllable mechanism of currency issuance and circulation for the state.

The cards will offer holders access to “immediate” transaction validation at zero fees and won’t require any internet connection, the firm said.

Such potential benefits of the initiative have seen the Marshall Islands government firmly support the project. David Paul, Minister-in-Assistance to the President of the Marshall Islands said:

“Tangem will help us ensure all citizens, including those living on more remote outer islands, are able to easily and practically transact using SOV.”

The RMI first announced plans for launching the SOV in February 2018, after the country’s legislators passed the Declaration and Issuance of the Sovereign Currency Act. The enactment of the bill into law also anchored the project into law.

In the days after the announcement, reports emerged that Israeli startup Neema was developing the underlying tech to be used for issuing the new cryptocurrency on the Yokwe public blockchain.

It hasn’t been smooth sailing for the SOV project, with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) advising against the RMI’s plans for launching the SOV.

In its September 2018 report, the IMF stated that proceeding with the plans would result in “external aid and other flows” being disrupted, leading to “a significant drag” on the country’s economy.

However, in November, IMF’s Christine Lagarde called on the world’s central banks to ‘consider’ issuing digital currencies (CBDCs), saying that their advantage was clear in terms of offering cheaper, faster, and safer transactions.

In January this year, Tangem secured $15 million in investment from Japan-based global financial services provider SBI Group.

The card maker noted that the funding would be instrumental in diversifying the firm’s developments as it looks to expand into various sectors, including the stablecoin industry, initial coin offerings (ICOs), tokenized asset offerings (TOAs), and in digital identity.

Disclaimer: This is not investment advice. Cryptocurrencies are highly volatile assets and are very risky investments. Do your research and consult an investment professional before investing. Never invest more than you can afford to lose. Never borrow money to invest in cryptocurrencies.

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