Finance Minister Kaleb Udui

Finance Minister Kaleb Udui said financial technology could create economic development opportunities for Palau adding that discussion with Congress in developing an appropriate regulatory framework in regards to financial technology. 

‘We will continue to discuss the possibility of some sort of structure for what the President refers to as fintech. So I think there will continue to be discussions with Congress. And we may work on some sort of framework for FinTech in the near future,” Udui said.

Part of the discussion with lawmakers, he said is also on how to move forward with cryptocurrency opportunities.

Palau has partnered with United States-based cryptocurrency company Ripple to explore plans to launch the world’s first government-backed national stablecoin. 

Udui said the partnership with companies, not only with Ripple creates opportunities for Palau in fintech development. 

But the opportunities are not just limited to these residency measures not proceeding as was originally planned, so we’ll have to have further discussions with the congressman.

A digital residency bill introduced by President Surangel Whipps Jr. did not muster enough votes in the Senate. 

Services under the digital residency will be undertaken by private partners selected by the government.

“Our objective as a government is to create a framework or a level playing field for opportunities to happen. So this bill is an attempt to create opportunity. The MOU with ripple and the other company that you mentioned, our specific activities that would be using this bill. So we create the E residency and crypto exchange, and different companies can be licensed in allowed to provide those services on top of our framework. So those are specific opportunities that are being evaluated by Ripple and by these other companies,” Udui said. 

The digital residency initiative replicates the e-Residency system of Estonia.  The Palau bill would “offer a government-issued digital residency to non-resident citizens but it does not give residency physically to foreigners.

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