Sovereign Aboriginal Yidindji Nation Launches Own CBDC

The Sovereign Yidindji Nation, an indigenous micronation located in the Australian rainforest region of far north Queensland, has created history in launching its own digital currency.

The micronation’s self-proclaimed financial technology minister, Murrumu of Walubara (see YouTube video, above), formed the Sovereign Yidindji Nation (SYN) in 2014 after renouncing his Australian citizenship. Now also the territory’s minister for foreign affairs and trade, renewable energy and communications and broadband, Murrumu this week announced the launch of a central bank digital currency (CBDC), making SYN the first indigenous nation on the Australian continent to become fully digitised.

Murrumu of Walubara. Source:

Murrumu describes the so-called Sovereign Yidindji Dollar as a significant step in building the nation. “It was too expensive to mint coins and to print physical notes,” he explains. “It just didn’t make sense because it’s cheaper and better for the environment to go down the digital currency road.

We actually create the money in accord with our laws and that is then minted and verified on a digital platform, so we’re not just printing money out of thin air.

Murrumu of Walubara, Yidindji minister for financial technology, foreign affairs and trade, renewable energy and communications and broadband

Four Pillars of the Yidindji CBDC

The Yidindji CBDC has four distinctive features that differentiate it from others already established, such as the Sand Dollar in the Bahamas and Nigeria’s eNaira:

  • It is the first CBDC issued using the MetaMUI CBDC platform.
  • It has been issued exclusively in digital currency, without the need for paper bills.
  • It incorporates a payment system connected with MetaMUI’s service set identifier system, which can be used in all retail stores and government offices. Payments can be processed without using the dedicated network, there are no transaction fees, sales settlements are immediate, and cross-border payments can be made without using credit cards.
  • It is a convertible currency whose collateral assets are gold, silver, and other minerals and natural resources, such as green and blue carbon. Money issuance, backed by a digital certificate, is also backed with collateral assets.

MetaMUI combines the concept of a self-sovereign identity and a decentralised blockchain, thus safeguarding users’ privacy and avoiding centralised censorship and the abuse of private information.

Nation Already Using MetaMUI Identity System

The Sovereign Yidindji Government (SYG) has already built a national identity system using MetaMUI’s technology, meaning all Yidindji citizens, companies and organisations can create their own digital identities, own digital assets and make payments with the Yidindji Dollar.

The SYG has 17 ministers and 22 ministries, and plans to be the first government to become fully digitised. For the 40 SYN citizens with the digital identification app on their phones, using the new CBDC is simple. “Basically you can pay through a QR code,” Murrumu says.

The ultimate goal for Murrumu and the SYN is a treaty with the Australian Commonwealth. When that happens, Murrumu says, it will “enable our money to cross borders into the Australian system and vice versa”.

In September last year, the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) joined Singapore, Malaysia and South Africa in launching a CBDC pilot for international settlements. At the time, the RBA announced it was looking to hire experts for its “CBDC research team” and expected the results of the pilot to be published “in early 2022”.

Phil Stafford

Phil Stafford

Phil is a long-standing Australian journalist with specialised experience in business, finance, travel and popular culture.

You may also like