Monetary authorities around the world are rushing to design digital currencies, and many are asking: Who knows how to do this?
Some of the first governments to go digital have found an answer in cryptocurrency enthusiasts. For these rebels against traditional approaches to finance, the digital trend presents an opportunity to create virtual money for a whole nation.
Israeli crypto consultant Barak Ben-Ezer had never visited the Marshall Islands before 2018 when he flew halfway around the world to propose that the Pacific Ocean archipelago adopt a national currency he designed in the likeness of bitcoin.
The Marshall Islands represented a clean slate for financial innovation: A U.S.-supported nation of 59,000 people spread over more than a thousand islands, with no currency of its own and no central bank. A bank in Honolulu was its only link to the global banking system—and access to the U.S….