Israeli startup to lead Marshall Islands cryptocurrency ICO

Hilda Heine Photo: Reuters Eduardo Munoz

Neema, which specializes in financial inclusion solutions via the blockchain, will issue the Pacific islands country's SOV.

Israeli fintech startup Neema is working with the Marshall Islands in order to issue one of the world's first legal cryptocurrency tenders - the SOV. The cryptocurrency's legal status has been approved by the country’s parliament. David Paul, minister-in-assistance to the president of the Marshall Islands said “The Marshall Islands is the first nation to adopt a transparent crypto monetary system, and we are proud of it. We are making our economy more resilient and payments more transparent."

Tel Aviv-based Neema is the company that was chosen to lead the SOV issuance. The Israeli company specializes in financial inclusion solutions via the blockchain and is backed by Y Combinator.

Neema CEO Barak Ben-Ezer said, "SOV will mark a new era for cryptocurrency, which most of us in the crypto community, want to legitimize. SOV is about getting rid of the excuses why not to shift to crypto - it’s real money, and it provides the golden path between an open ledger and total anonymity, it gives users the power to decide when and what to disclose.”

Working with Neema, the Marshall Islands will start a presale that will allow the country to raise initial prospects prior to the Initial Coin Offering (ICO later this year). The goal of the presale is to allow cryptocurrency holders (the 95% of blockchain enthusiasts, who have nothing to hide), venture capital funds, banks, and other financial authorities to collaborate on building the first crypto based economy as part of their joint vision."

Paul added, "We are excited to be the world’s first nation to leapfrog into the era of digital currencies. 10% of our proceeds from the ICO will be directed towards a Green Climate Fund, to help us fight the effects of global warming, coming from the burn of fossil fuel by the large industrial nations, and hurting the small Island Nations the most.”

A member of the UN since 1991, the Marshall Islands is a sprawling chain of 1,100 volcanic islands and coral atolls in the central Pacific Ocean, between Hawaii and the Philippines. The country, with a population of 70,000, is threatened by climate change and the possibility of sinking into the sea.

Neema chief of staff Roye Rahav said, "It’s a dream come true. We’re excited and happy to bring the vision of a disintermediated global monetary system one step forward. And it starts here in the Marshall Islands."

Rahav is the son of Israeli publicist Rani Rahav, who serves as the Honorary Consul in Israel of the Marshall Islands.

Marshall Islands President Hilda Heine said, “This is a historic moment for our people, finally issuing and using our own currency, alongside the USD. It is another step of manifesting our national liberty. Allocating SOV units directly to the citizens will circulate the currency and distribute wealth efficiently to our people. In addition, The RMI will invest the revenues to support its climate change efforts, green energy, healthcare for those still affected by the US nuclear tests, and education."

Last month Venezuela issued the petro, the world's first sovereign cryptocurrency.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on March 1, 2018

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2018

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Hilda Heine Photo: Reuters Eduardo Munoz
Hilda Heine Photo: Reuters Eduardo Munoz
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