Trouble in paradise: The Marshall Islands plans to introduce a cryptocurrency as the country’s second legal tender. Photo: iStock

Political crisis in Marshall Islands sparked by… you guessed it: Marshall Islands President Hilda Heine’s plans to introduce a cryptocurrency as the country’s second legal tender has, writes The Guardian, led to a vote of no confidence. The only female leader in the Pacific Islands has been pushing ahead with the controversial cryptocurrency, known as Sovereign or “Sov”, because she says the country must “advance into the future.” The token was to be issued by an Israeli start-up company which, according to the International Monetary Fund, has “limited financial sector experience.”

Singapore blockchain initiative to power green energy trading: Crypto has been seen as a detriment to the environment but a new report from CNBC says companies in Singapore can now engage in renewable energy certificate (REC) trading on a blockchain-powered system from utilities provider SP Group. Firms will apparently offset their non-green energy production by purchasing RECs from entities with excess green power. The group says the use of blockchain will mean lower costs and more transparency.

UAE to get its first cryptocurrency exchange: A consortium is preparing to launch a cryptocurrency exchange in Dubai, reports Gulf Today. A cryptocurrency exchange would be in line with the Emirates’ Blockchain Strategy 2021, which aims to place 50 percent of government transactions on a blockchain platform by 2021. The UAE government believes blockchain can stop 398 million documents being printed and save 77 million work hours annually.

Is blockchain the key to transparent democracy?: As results come in from the US mid-term elections, many observers have asked whether blockchain could make democratic processes more transparent. A new article in Ars Technica argues that blockchain-based elections would be a “disaster for democracy” because the tech would destroy “public trust.” Others might wonder if things can actually get any worse than they already are.

Health tech gets blockchain boost: A PwC report suggests that half of the health organizations it surveyed globally are working on blockchain projects. In a report produced by the accountancy giant entitled “A Prescription for Blockchain and Healthcare: Reinvent or be Reinvented”, researchers said the 49 percent of healthcare companies across the world are operating on, or contemplating working on the ‘chain’. With health tech booming in Asia, the region’s blockchain sector should expect a consequent boost.

Hong Kong to move out of the regulatory sandbox?: From 4th to 8th March, Asian blockchain enthusiasts will debate all things ledger, chain and crypto. With 120 speakers from 50+ countries and an estimated 3,000 delegates, the week is a chance for the industry to see if the Hong Kong government can move the cryptocurrency and blockchain agenda along in a meaningful way or if it will remain stuck in the mud of its regulatory sandbox?

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