Estonia is considering the issue of crypto-tokens, which would make it (almost) the first country to attract investment through an Initial Coin Offering (ICO). The scheme would let buyers of the new estcoin hold a stake in the Estonian economy.
The estcoin would be available to buy (and trade) through the country's , which makes a government-issued Estonian digital ID available to anyone in the world. The virtual residency allows anyone to start an (online) business under Estonian — that is, EU — legislation, while the associated ID card allows its holder to sign digital contracts.
In addition to the legal foundation, the e-Residency programme provides a platform through which online businesses can connect to payment providers, banks, providers of virtual office space (for legal business addresses), notaries, and other digital service providers.
The primary goal from Estonia's perspective would be to attract investment from people who believe in the country's digital future. According to Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin, an ICO within the e-Residency ecosystem would strongly align the interests of e-residents with this fund. Additionally, if these estcoins are (also) issued on top of a blockchain, then it would become easy and convenient to use them inside of smart contracts and other applications.
The e-Residency programme started as a way to reach out online to talented, ambitious and entrepreneurial foreigners, with the aim that eventually they would move to Estonia. That's why the portal also provides information on migration and relocation. According to Kaspar Korjus, Managing Director at e-Residency, three years ago the national government asked itself this radical question: Estonia has just 1.3 million residents, but what would happen if our country had 10 million digital residents too?. Since all Estonian government services are accessible over the Internet, and the underlying digital infrastructure could support far more than Estonia's current population, it was not too large a step to make the existing public e-services and business environment available to others.
It quickly became clear that e-Residency offers huge value to entrepreneurs seeking trust, location independence, minimal bureaucracy, low business costs, and access to a wider range of fintech services. There are now more than 22,000 e-residents signed up from 138 countries.