According to an official news release, the Republic of Marshall Islands is working with Blockchain expert Steve Tendon who has been advising and assisting the Pacific island nation in issuing its Sovereign (SOV) currency.
Adding to its existing official currency, the US Dollar, the SOV will be launched with the intention to serve as “legal tender of the islands for all debts, public charges, taxes and dues.” According to a statement by Dr Peter Dittus, SOV’s Chief Economist, Peter Tendon would be assisting the government “with the drafting and designing of regulations to develop a Blockchain financial services economy out of the Marshall Islands.”
Steve Tendon currently holds the position of the Managing Director of Malta-based Blockchain company TameFlow Consulting/ChainStrategies. The company offers services and consultancy to businesses and companies that seek to integrate Blockchain technology into their systems.
Tendon has an in-depth knowledge of the technology and the industry around it, as is evident from the press report that says that he was appointed as the Strategy Lead to the National Blockchain Task Force of Malta – a country that is famously tolerant towards cryptocurrencies. He was appointed there to help officials implement the country’s Blockchain strategies. Additionally, he had also served as the strategic advisor for the Malta government’s Ministry of Economy, Investment and Small Business in 2016.
Government officials in Malta reiterated their pride earlier in the month about being a trailblazer for the wider cryptocurrency industry. Leadership said the government would work on initiatives to give more peace of mind and protection for crypto, pushing back against comments made by Opposition Leader Adrian Delia.
However, Malta’s opposition has shot some criticisms towards the ruling party’s actions as it had supposedly “remained silent” when Bitcoin’s price was in freefall last year.
RMI’s efforts to make the SOV a reality has hit some bumps, however. In November of last year, President Hilda Heine was put up to a vote of no-confidence by eight Senators because her plans to launch the SOV had apparently “harmed” the national reputation of the country.
The president, however, survived the vote very narrowly by winning the no-confidence motion by one vote. Despite the setback, Finance Minister Brenson Wase said that the RMI would follow through with its plan to launch the SOV.
However, the IMF hasn’t been too keen to support national cryptocurrencies, advising the Pacific island nation to not move forward with its plans, because it believes that using a cryptocurrency as a second form of legal tender would be problematic for a nation because it would increase financial integrity risks and increase the risk of losing the last U.S. dollar correspondent banking relationship.