Building the First Sovereign Cryptocurrency

Published on
June 19th, 2019
44 minutes

Building the First Sovereign Cryptocurrency

The Interview ·
Featuring Barak Ben-Ezer

Published on: June 19th, 2019 • Duration: 44 minutes

Barak Ben-Ezer, CEO and co-founder of SFB Technologies and The SOV, sits down with Gaby Heffesse, COO of ACG Analytics, to discuss the creation of The SOV - the world’s first sovereign cryptocurrency - which is based in the Marshall Islands. Ben-Ezer talks about the challenges of integrating a cryptocurrency into the world’s sovereign currency system, his work on new developments in the underlying blockchain technology, and both the incentives and safeguards for individual privacy and crime prevention. He also considers the possibility that large countries, perhaps one day including the United States, might adopt the technology to their own currencies. Filmed on June 7, 2019 in New York.



  • TM
    Tommy M.
    26 December 2020 @ 13:58
    Can we get an update on this? Good time to revisit.
  • ST
    Simon T.
    5 November 2019 @ 05:07
    This is a complete non sense - he could as well sell his mother Associate it to the Swiss government and we talk again, backed with gold
  • LW
    Lorenz W.
    28 June 2019 @ 02:06
    Does anyone know which blockchain the token will be built on and which digital identity platform will be used? In the splintered world we live in, I believe we will see more and more entities, governments or companies create their own, native tokenized economy.
  • FC
    Frank C.
    24 June 2019 @ 15:57
    This is a very sad situation for the Marshall Islands and it’s citizens. This idea was more or less “sold” to a select group of leaders in the hope that this would “save” their island nation. The IMF is fully aware and made objections in September 2018. The Marshallese government rejected their objections and has moved forward to implement: Thank you RV to making others aware of this!
  • RO
    Robert O.
    23 June 2019 @ 06:30
    Or the Marshall Islands could just open Goldmoney accounts for its citizens.
  • WS
    William S.
    22 June 2019 @ 04:05
    Very naive to believe government won't simply turn off the ID's of political dissidents. etc. Building the first stage of the global Beast system.
  • RR
    Robert R.
    21 June 2019 @ 19:07
    I can only agree with the comments that precede mine. I certainly hope that crypto does not go down this path. God help us all!
  • TH
    Timo H.
    21 June 2019 @ 07:31
    Judging by the fierce rejection by the audience, this guy is onto something :-) There are a couple of realities of life, that you need to acknowledge, if you want to build the next-gen financial system, including its currency. These are: 1) You cannot digitalize financial transactions without digitalizing the identities of the parties of the transactions. Dreaming about financial world based on pseudonymous identities is waste of time. Such thing will never become legal nor trustworthy. You need proper digital identities to digitalize the economy! The pseudonymous identities promoted by the bitcoin maximalists actually leak privacy very easily. You just need to correlate your blockchain transactions with your other activities. The more pseudonymous transactions there are, the more certain the privacy leaks are. It is essential to understand, that digital identities, when done right using the self-sovereign principle, actually guarantee privacy because you can use non-correlateable single-use identifiers in your transactions. 2) Whether you want it or not, the authorities need to be part of the solution, not part of the problem. For example, the tax authority is a party of practically every single transaction out there. If the tax authority does not approve your transaction, it is illegal. If you can't beat them, you better join them and design something, that works and is fair to all participants, also in terms of privacy. After working on the field for a few years, I know, that such solution is achievable. Barak seems to understand something about both of these aspects, but he may not have all the needed building blocks yet in his hands. The identity solution he proposes does not address the privacy properly. As presented, it is too centralized. Furthermore, the business model he is using to build the solution seems somewhat questionable. Yet further, the underlying blockchain technology probably probably is not properly designed to match the true requirements. Anyway, good luck with the project. It will be a rough ride and chances are high, that it will fail. However, it is in many aspects a big step towards the right direction.
  • JV
    Javier V.
    19 June 2019 @ 13:15
    They are digitalizing money, not creating a cryptocurrency. Shutting down accounts and monitoring transactions is basically what blockchain and crypto is trying to get rid off
    • MT
      Mark T.
      21 June 2019 @ 03:17
      Maybe the process of "getting rid" of old methods is to create workable bridges that allow an orderly transition to the new methods. The process would hopefully clarify and reinforce the advantages and desirability of the new system. Otherwise you cannot overcome the existing network effect advantage of the old inferior system.
  • JD
    John D.
    19 June 2019 @ 20:35
    "A central banker wet dream come true." Perhaps he could have left out the "wet" from that sentence.
    • MT
      Mark T.
      21 June 2019 @ 03:13
      Yes, but, (ha) he's exactly right. it's also a money launderers dream come true. A big wide highway between crypto currency and existing financial systems. If I were them I would be looking to take advantage of early bugs in the KYC processes and get into the system. The problem with huge databases is that it is hard to data mine without initial parameters. Clever criminals that don't push the system too hard will absolutely LOVE the sov.
  • MT
    Mark T.
    21 June 2019 @ 02:59
    I do not agree with the presentation (on multiple levels), however, I think it is VERY important for RV to bring us this type of material. Thank you, Milton you big dummy! This project is going to proceed and it will help to shape the crypto currency and Bitcoin ecosystems. Everyone involved needs to start being extremely precise in their use of terminology and examine the underlying definitions. For example, I define privacy as the condition where one person has access to and control of information. I define custody as one person having possession and ability to transfer or otherwise dispose of property. Many of the comments below are exactly correct and the issue is often rooted in a difference in assumptions and definition of terms. Anyway, great job RV for bringing this story to us. Well done. I don't learn anything from people I agree with!!
  • SU
    Shakeel U.
    20 June 2019 @ 23:02
    44 minutes of complete rubbish, please make sure you never bring this clown back.
  • AB
    AJ B.
    20 June 2019 @ 17:16
    Orwell would be so proud
  • AW
    Aaron W.
    20 June 2019 @ 08:40
    SCAM ALERT. No precision, no intellectual rigor, vague platitudes, lots of bravado, no focus on numbers and all focus on the hype story. Classic promotional tactics. His body language says it all.
  • MS
    Mr S.
    20 June 2019 @ 07:42
    this sounds so stupid that it might somehow work. least these stakeholders think it will. once implemented let's see how it explodes or implodes. a nice real-life experiment. see how the theory is proven in practice ...but this project has nothing to do with the premise of a decentralised cryptocurrency world...only taking advantage the word "digital"...reminds me of the 2000 tech boom when out of favour mining companies become tech companies and changed their name to something " dot com".
  • JF
    Joseph F.
    20 June 2019 @ 04:18
    Reminds me of Gerald Cotten – QuadrigaCX’s CEO and founder.
  • KS
    Kathleen S.
    20 June 2019 @ 04:01
    Never happening -- Shit coin, that misses the entire point of crypto.
  • SS
    Shanthi S.
    20 June 2019 @ 03:49
    Steamiest pile of turd ever aired on RV. I’m no psychic, but I can tell you this guy has not an ounce of integrity and wouldn’t know a principle if it hit him in the head. He says he believes in free markets and yet is creating a currency that gives a government (the enemy of free markets) complete control over who is sanctioned and who has the privilege of (pseudo) privacy, down to the individual. He says this currency will enable the individual citizen to be a custodian of their own money with no third party risk. LOL! As anyone with eyes and ears knows, government/central banks are the biggest risk of all to the value of the money you hold, and they will most definitely be a third party to this “sinister coin”. They will hold the kill switch to the contents of your wallet. He also seems to imply initially that only those with something to hide, want or need privacy (wow!!!), but later almost contradicts that in a vain attempt to make his shitcoin sound appealing, as it will offer the pretence of privacy for the lucky user, until of course the government decides you no longer deserve quasi privacy. I’m truly loathed to hold such suspicions, but can’t help wondering which intelligence agency pays this guy... 🤨 Worst interview ever. Not because of the interviewer, she did a decent job, but despite her valiant efforts, was unable to pin down this slithering organism. I don’t doubt he or others like him will succeed, but I wish them no luck. Freedom is dead.
  • JN
    Jared N.
    20 June 2019 @ 01:21 The nation won't last, but their currency will live on forever
  • RK
    Robert K.
    19 June 2019 @ 23:53
    Yes, let's launch a digital currency in a banana republic, my friend knows the main man minister. I understand of course that launching currencies with a bit of credibility narrative mumbo-jumbo is a way to retire. Not bad climate on this Marshall Islands (had to look it up where it actually is).
  • SD
    Sebastien D.
    19 June 2019 @ 23:05
    I am convinced about crypto, but this looks bad on so many accounts. Centralized, permissioned heavy KYC blockchain, is not a crypto and don't need blockchain. Way inferior to cash even... The inception plan sounds questionable: Air dropping 5% of the monetary base is like a MMT implementation, is OK. This guy is taking 10% of a country monetary base to devellop a currency, is like alot no ? Auctioning the rest of the country monetary base to international investors is a bit strange, isn't it ?
    • DS
      Daniel S.
      19 June 2019 @ 23:35
      Have you watched the interview ? The guy is not taking 10%. He said that it will be allocated to all developers working on this projects. They actually funding this project until this currency is circulated, which is quite remarkable.
  • DS
    Daniel S.
    19 June 2019 @ 20:52
    Thank you for this great interview. I'm impressed by this innovative move of the Marshall Islands and would love to see it live. This was also the by far the best project presented few weeks in the UN Blockchain summit.
  • HK
    H K.
    19 June 2019 @ 19:59
  • PF
    Patrick F.
    19 June 2019 @ 17:54
    This was not a good interview, one of the worst Real Vision has ever published. I have talked to 20+ "stable coin" type projects. All have the basically the proposition and all claim to be "the worlds first something". This project is in no way unique. This guy is a charlatan and the project is going nowhere. I don't know what is worse, the fact that Real Vision actually published this, or the fact that I paid them for it. #disappointed
  • SP
    Sat P.
    19 June 2019 @ 17:39
    This guy completely misses the point of Cryptocurrency. Anonymity, privacy and being outside of the global fiat system are the three things that are extremely important features for an alternative to the corrupt system we have today. When he says that Governments need to have KYC/AML to track criminal activity he doesn't mention the crimes committed by Politicians who extort money via taxes to spend on endless wars and covert operations which don't have any transparency whatsoever. Like Javier V said below, he has simply helped a country to create digitised money and not created a cryptocurrency at all. In fact, he has helped to create a Social Credit system like they have in China. They can simply view your transactions whenever they want to. This was one of the worst interviews I've seen on RV for a long time. It was the total opposite of the awesome interview yesterday with Jimmy Song. Now he's a guy who truly knows what Crypto is all about.
  • JP
    John P.
    19 June 2019 @ 17:35
    This is a complete scam. So much of a scam that the scammers may not even realize it. I really enjoy Gaby and I wish she could’ve had something better to discuss.
  • OC
    Otto C.
    19 June 2019 @ 16:57
    If this is not a scam, what is it?
  • JL
    J L.
    19 June 2019 @ 16:01
    don't necessarily see anything in this project but this was not a bad video and the interviewer was competent and funny, perhaps we really need a thumb up/down for video quality and another for agreement with the content
  • AB
    Alberto B.
    19 June 2019 @ 12:48
    This guy got completely wrong the idea of bitcoin. The reason of bitcoin is not be part of the global financial system but to be a real island, using his own analogy, completely outside the financial system. Who needs another crap currency controlled by government or central authority?
  • PV
    P V.
    19 June 2019 @ 10:49
    With so many excellent and knowledgeable people in the crypto space is hard to understand how this video found its way on “Crypto Week”. The whole project makes little sense and, at least in the way was articulated, will get little or no traction/adoption. Especially the privacy aspects. Cash is by definition private as a bearer’s instrument and the idea of entrusting a government with a record of all transactions ever deployed in the national currency is a privacy nightmare waiting to be hacked. In a world of Bitcoin, stablecoins and, now, LIBRA, the whole project seem as doomed as the Venezuelan PETRO.
    • FI
      Frano I.
      19 June 2019 @ 12:06
      "centralized database - which is essentially a blockchain" you literally could not be further from the truth. Unfortunate that this was not refuted and clarified during the interview.
  • JB
    Jose B.
    19 June 2019 @ 12:02
    Excellent interview. I believe the SOV will be a major landmark in the world's financial history. many people still dismiss crypto but that's just so very normal