Estonia has publicly signaled a desire to launch the first ever state-backed cryptocurrency, that would enable supporters to directly invest in the small European country.
Estonia Cryptocurrency Proposal Nested in “e-residency”
The hypothetical cryptocurrency has been given the placeholder name of “Estcoin” by the thought leaders of the government-backed plan.
According to a blog, the crypto could be launched via an ICO, which would make the Republic of Estonia the first country to officially get into the largely unregulated business of token sales.
Additionally, Estcoins could be accessed via the country’s “e-residency” program that gives non-Estonians access to benefits and services enjoyed by Estonian residents — all without ever setting foot in the country.
Such services would include company formation, banking, payment processing, and taxation.
Additional benefits include access to Estonia’s relatively business-friendly environment, which, through e-residency, is available anywhere in the world and completely online.
Vitalik Buterin Gets in on the Action
Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin has expressed interest in the the proposal and offered advice and feedback, saying an ICO could allow people to invest in the country in a way that is not currently possible.
“An ICO within the e-residency ecosystem would create a strong incentive alignment between e-residents and this fund, and … makes the e-residents feel like more of a community since there are more things they can do together.”
He also went on to say that if Estcoin was issued on top of a blockchain it could easily and conveniently take advantage of smart contracts and other applications.
From Baltic Tiger to Crypto and Blockchain Innovator
This isn’t the first time Estonia has got involved with the crypto/blockchain space, nor are they the first country to experiment with cryptocurrencies.
That title would go to China, which began experimenting with the idea of a national cryptocurrency via its central bank this June.
Estonia began testing blockchain projects in 2015 — with both the private and public sectors taking a serious look at the technology.
One example of this is Estonia utilizing blockchain tech to secure millions of healthcare records, in a partnership with Guardtime.
Another example is when it was announced Estonian e-government experts were collaborating with a Swiss start-up Procivis to offer a new “e-government as a service” solution.
The latter example was largely a way to test how the blockchain could be applied to public services, as a means of improving them.
According to e-residency managing director Kaspar Korjus, the program — combined with their recent blockchain and crypto endeavors — is an attempt by the country to create a “borderless digital nation.”
What do you think of Estonia’s proposal to create a government-backed cryptocurrency and ICO? Let us know in the comments below.
Images via Blockchain News, Estonia, ItProPortal