It was only a matter of time. Having launched a successful e-Residency programme, allowing anyone anywhere in the world to start a location-independent company, trailblazing Estonia is looking at offering a digital currency to go with it. As expected for easily the most digitally ambitious state in the world, the tiny Baltic republic is inviting feedback on Medium.
The Medium post explains that the success of the e-Residency programme is such that more than 22,000 citizens have signed up from 138 countries. With the weekly application rate presently higher than the country’s weekly birth rate, Estonia’s digital nation could surpass the national population in size. Possibly.
Among those signing up for e-Residency are blockchain-based entrepreneurs and enthusiasts. This interest, and the fact that other countries are looking at cryptocurrencies, has led Estonia to consider the introduction of its own currency, supported by its advanced digital infrastructure: the “Estcoin”.
In theory, this will be made available to anyone in the world through the e-Residency programme and launched through an Initial Coin Offering (ICO). While initially allowing e-Residents to invest in a country for the first time, future Estcoin opportunities look limitless:
estcoins could also be accepted as payment for both public and private services and eventually function as a viable currency used globally. By using our APIs, companies and even other countries could accept these same tokens as payment. It will also be possible to build more functions on top of the estcoins and use them for more purposes, such as smart contracts and notary services.
If you’re interested in finding out more about the Estcoin, you can sign up for email updates here.
So that’s the citizenship and currency sorted. What else? Of course, overseas citizens need embassies, so that they can appeal for help when they lose their digital passport while on a digital night out. Accordingly, Estonia will be opening a “data embassy” in Luxembourg (with the latter’s agreement of course), offering the same protection and immunity as traditional embassies.
Estonia’s vision – to create a new global digital nation powered by the Republic of Estonia – is remarkable. Go Est, young man and woman: this is the future!