Posted 3 years ago | by Bethany Armstrong
Located off the coast of the Baltic Sea, the country of Estonia is diving in to the world of technology.
While it may be small in size, Estonia has a population of just over 1.3 million people. Estonia is not afraid of embracing and implementing technology. Specifically, blockchain technology.
In 2014, Estonia launched the E-residency of Estonia program. This program allows individuals from other countries to apply for a virtual residency in Estonia.
The E-residency program gives non-Estonians access to Estonian services like banking, taxation, payment processing and company formation. An E-resident uses a smart card given by the Estonian government as their way of official signature.
In 2017, Estonia began to embrace the idea and concepts of cryptocurrency. For a country who is actively encouraging e-residents, cryptocurrency would be a logical step. Estonia has launched their own ICO, the estcoin. It encourages investors to become residents for business start up purposes.
In 2018, Forbes called Estonia the most digital country. This is not an exaggerated claim; after breaking away from the Soviet Union in 1991, Estonia sought out a system that would give control to their citizens and not be controlled by another entity. Blockchain technology is the solution.
The quest for freedom and control for the Estonian citizens has created an unexpected domino effect. As Estonian children learned the digital system at school, the students returned home to teach their parents. Eliminating a generational gap in technology literacy.
Estonians operate on an "enter once and done" system, so Estonians enter their information once and then hold electronic cards that have all their personal information. From purchasing a car to medical records to education transcripts, Estonia has moved everything to a digital and virtually paperless system.
Giving control to the Estonian citizens means that if an institution needs information from an individual, the power to release their information is the hand of the citizen. The Estonian citizen chooses whether or not to release their information. This power to the citizen is all virtual and all electronic.
"Just because it’s in the database doesn’t mean that Estonia owns it—it belongs to you. At any second you have the right to know and control what happens to this data." says Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid.
Estonia could be quickly become an international leader in emplementing technology on a country-wide scale.