Tangem will produce physical banknotes for the Sovereign (SOV), the state digital currency of the Marshall Islands. The Swiss-based smart card manufacturer made this announcement earlier today.
Physical notes to ensure fair and equal access to the cryptocurrency
According to the announcement, the physical banknotes of the SOV will ensure that the citizens have equal access to the cryptocurrency, whether they have an internet connection or not. Tangem added that the physical note would be a controllable mechanism for issuing the cryptocurrency by the government.
Minister David Paul, Minister-in-Assistance to the President of the Marshall Islands noted that “Tangem will help ensure that all citizens, including those living on more remote outer islands, are able to easily and practically transact using SOV.”
Andrey Kurennykh, the co-founder of Tangem, commented that the company is excited for the partnership with the Republic of the Marshall Islands as they will “do something that has never been done before”, namely issue a digital currency as official legal tender. “As the IMF has noted, the world is moving towards the widespread adoption of digital currencies, and we are excited to support the birth of the new global digital economy”, concluded Kurrennykh.
According to the report, “each Tangem card will take the form of a unique physical banknote with a secure blockchain-enabled microprocessor inside and combine the familiar advantages of paper banknotes with the security of blockchain technology. These protected notes will be fully transparent, 100% secure, decentralized, and represent a controllable mechanism of currency issuance and circulation for the state.”
Tangem first issued a physical representation of a cryptocurrency in May last year. The company produced 10,000 physical Bitcoin (BTC) banknotes of various denominations. In February last year, the Republic of the Marshall Islands revealed that it would launch a cryptocurrency together with an ICO and free trading. Some government officials back then stated that the cryptocurrency would be used in the country alongside the nation’s other official currency, the US Dollars.
The national cryptocurrency was criticized
The idea of developing a national cryptocurrency was criticized in some quarters in the country. In August 2018, the IMF urged the government to reconsider issuing the cryptocurrency as it could cause some problems to the financial integrity in the country. It could also affect their relationship with foreign banks, the IMF warned.
Despite the challenges faced by Marshallese President Hilda Heine to issue the cryptocurrency, she became victorious and regards this milestone as a historic moment for the country.