Palau Finance Minister welcomes audit of stablecoin project

PHOTO: BSV Blockchain

Palau’s Minister of Finance Kaleb Udui Jr said he welcomes the audit by the Public Auditor of Palau’s stablecoin project as requested by the Senate.

“We have nothing to hide. We have been working with auditors and lawyers and welcome the audit,” explained Minister Udui. “We have not received a call from them to schedule a meeting, but we look forward to it,” he added.

Senate has called for an audit of the Palau stablecoin project, questioning the programme’s legality.  Senate President Hokkons Baules, during the oversight hearing, expressed concern that government resources are employed to conduct a programme that has yet to be authorised by law.

Minister Udui, during the oversight hearing, said Ripple provided the funds used for the pilot programme.

“I appreciate the concerns of OEK because anytime you have something new, you should debate and you should discuss,” said President Surangel Whipps Jr of the OEK’s concerns.

The stablecoin bill was not sent to Olbiil Era Kelulau (OEK) before the pilot project launch; Whipps said it was so they could study and understand it better.

“If there’s an opportunity to experiment and to understand, then we can craft a bill and send it to OEK where they easily accept it because we have studied it, we know these are the challenges, these are the pitfalls and this is how we can best address it,” Whipps said of the reason they did not propose the law first.

“It is not yet ready, and they want it. Let’s do it right and submit it to them for study,” added Whipps.

In collaboration with Ripple, Palau launched Palau stablecoin, “kluk,” using the Ripple Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) platform.

Palau received money from Ripple to put into the wallet of the 200 government employees participating in the pilot project, which they can use at a few business establishments to test the use of the new “kluk” stablecoin.

President Whipps said the digital currency provides Palau with another payment option, one that does not cost you 3% as what most banks charge for processing merchant payments. Senator Hokkons said there are many important and unanswered questions regarding the use of digital currency and stablecoin, and they are seeking an expert to advise them.