The Marshall Islands is an island country and the United States associated state near the equator in the Pacific Ocean, between Hawaii and the Philippines. With a population of around 53,000, the country features several popular wreck dive sites. Marshall Islands uses the US dollar as its currency.

In 2018, it also announced plans for new crypto to be used as legal currency. Keeping in line with the plan, a new fund is being raised to stimulate the digital asset’s adoption. The newly announced token has been named SOV, which is supposed to replace the US dollar as the official currency of the country. The so-called SOV Development Fund will make the project up and running.

Although the crypto has a controversial past, it may address one of the biggest problems with digital assets: government support. As SOV is now government-backed, it will hopefully be considered superior to other cryptocurrencies out there. Bitcoin has managed to get recognized as a legal payment option in Japan, but it is not a national currency which would force international merchants and organizations to give the same respect as the Euro and USD. As a result, the Japanese merchants are not obliged to accept bitcoin as payment.

SOV is still struggling to launch

As the citizens are free to continue to use the USD, the new SOV will have to come up with some mouth-watering features to phase out the USD in the country. The Marshall Islands has hired SFB Technologies to develop SOV related blockchain technology. The company has a long way to go to make the crypto as popular as bitcoin, ethereum, XRP, and other mainstream tokens.

Moreover, there is no guarantee that people will use it for payment, even the citizens of the Marshall Islands. Controversy and doubt regarding the coin in the parliament were so severe that the newly elected President Hilda Heine faced a vote of no confidence over the coin issue last year. Luckily, she got a narrow escape and saved the premiership.

SOV Development Fund has several purposes

A great hope remains for the new crypto as the fund is being raised. The fund is backed by some heavyweight advisors including Luis Ubinas, the former President of the Ford Foundation, and seven directors, two of whom will be government nominated. A press release indicated that the government had set a goal of transitioning to an alternative governance model based on blockchain.

The crypto plan has already been discussed in international forums. Heine has termed the token as the “first legal tender cryptocurrency,” and she presented the project at the UNs for Impact Summit. Apart from managing the SOV, the fund will be used for some social welfare projects, including fighting corruption and improving the living standard of citizens. These steps may be to justify the use of the fund. The SOV’s Chief Economist, Peter Dittus, explained the purpose of the fund via a video link:

“The SOV Development Fund’s mandate is to maintain the SOV infrastructure long term; to seed the ecosystem around the SOV; to promote the SOV and its uses, both domestically and internationally.”he distribution of the SOV’s initial supply has been already planned- the development fund will get 30%, investors will get 10% as a token to boost the development of the crypto, and another 10% will be distributed to the citizens for free via airdrop. The exact date of the SOV’s kick-start is yet to decide. However, once the circulation begins, there will be a time-released monetary issuance, and banks will store the tokens.

One may wonder why the Marshall Island opted for crypto instead of a new fiat. The statement of Barak Ben-Ezer, Developer of the SOVChain, in a meeting in New York might point toward the answer. He expects that the token will help create a new economy for the country. The ultimate goal is to develop an exclusive economic zone so that financial firms and exchanges can comfortably start their new businesses.