Earlier this August, government officials from Estonia announced plans for a national cryptocurrency. Ever since the proposal for what’s been dubbed “the estcoin” came out, cryptocurrency enthusiasts have expressed their interest for an Initial Coin Offering (ICO) or token sale for estcoin. Much of the support comes from understanding what the estcoin would be for — as a currency to support Estonia’s plans for a digital nation, a program they call e-Residency.
While the Baltic nation isn’t the first to have shown interest in adapting an official cryptocurrency, Estonia’s plans seem to have a more solid foundation than the Chinese protoytpe or Russia’s dreams of an Ethereum blockchain. In a blog post on December 19, 2017, e-Residency program managing director Kaspar Korjus explained three potential uses for estcoin. The crypto coin would primarily serve as a “community token” for Estonia’s e-residents, and plans for this crypto token system have been unveiled this week.
Korjus described the e-Residency program as a government startup, in which virtually anyone with access to the internet can become a “digital citizen” of Estonia. The idea is to simplify the requirements for setting up a business in Estonia. “Join the digital nation,” says the e-Residency official website.
Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin said that the e-Residency program and estcoin would benefit from being built on a blockchain. “[I]f these estcoins are issued on top of a blockchain (they could possibly be issued in multiple formats at the same time, nothing wrong with this) then it would become easy and convenient to use them inside of smart contracts and other applications,” Buterin wrote in his blog, where he gave feedback on the whole plan.
Since it was announced, there are already 4,272 companies registered under Estonia’s e-Residency program, with more than 27,000 applicants from over 140 countries. By taking advantage of Estonia’s online government infrastructure, non-residents can set up their businesses with ease and become part of what could be the first “borderless digital nation” with its own cryptocurrency.
Disclosure: Several members of the Futurism team are personal investors in cryptocurrency markets. Their personal investment perspectives have no impact on editorial content.