Estonia to Launch the World's First Government ICO

Remigio Civitarese
Agosto 24, 2017

The program gives people an Estonian government-backed digital ID, the ability to simply register an European Union company, access to business banking and payments services, and tools with which to digitally sign documents.

Kaspar Korjus, managing director at e-Residency, Enterprise Estonia, said that the initiative was about creating a "borderless digital nation". "The secure digital identities used by e-residents (as well as citizens and residents of Estonia) are now the ideal mechanism for securely trading crypto assets in a trusted and transparent digital environment".

The cryptocurrency, called "estcoin", could be launched via the digital coin community's version of crowdfunding - an initial coin offering (ICO).

"A government-supported ICO would give more people a bigger stake in the future of our country and provide not just investment, but also more expertise and ideas to help us grow exponentially", Korjus said in a blog post on Monday.

Estonia is one of the leading countries in Eastern Europe that develops and welcomes FinTech innovations. This would enable Estonia to invest in new technologies and innovations for the public sector, ranging from smart contracts to artificial intelligence, as well as make it technically scalable to benefit more people around the world, Korjus wrote in his post. He said the money raised through the issuing of estcoins could be managed through a public-private partnership that ringfences part of the funds for the development of Estonia's "new digital nation".

Ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin said estcoins could be used to incentivize investors to support the success of a country in a way that isn't possible through traditional fundraising methods.

Other countries have considered launching their own cryptocurrency, including China and Russian Federation.

To date, there are more than 22,000 e-residents signed up to the Estonian e-Residency program from 138 countries and they make an enormous contribution to Estonia in return for the opportunities delivered to them.

"No other country has come close to developing both the technology and the legal frameworks that would enable them to introduce and securely manage tradable crypto assets globally."

Korjus is looking for community feedbacks on the estcoin proposal. The fund could be used to support Estonian companies, including those founded by e-residents of the nation. Then, the estcoin project would likely begin as a pilot project that would be scaled up based on demand.

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