The Republic of the Marshall Islands is a country of around 50,000 people spread across more than 1,000 islands in a remote part of the Pacific Ocean. The country relies heavily on cross-border finance and trade, and the complexities of that system can make it difficult for citizens to get certain goods and financial services efficiently.

Now the federal government is seeking to become the first to issue a national digital currency using blockchain technology. Officials hope the move helps citizens avoid high transaction fees, simplifies compliance with international partners, and protects against inflation (the currency will have a fixed supply rate).

The new currency will be based on blockchain technology developed by Silvio Micali, the Ford Professor of Engineering in MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL), and commercialized by Micali’s startup, Algorand.

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