Estonia has abandoned its plan to introduce its own cryptocurrency following the President of the European Central Bank Mario Draghi’s warning that no EU member can have its own currency apart from the Euro.
Local Estonian banking institutions had also been vocal, rejecting the idea, which was proposed by the managing director of the Estonian e-residency program, Kaspar Korjus.
The e-residency program, introduced in 2014, allows non-Estonians access to Estonian services such as company formation, banking, payment processing, and taxation. The program also allows anyone in the world to apply for a digital ID card and gain access to Estonian e-services when planning to start a company in the country.
Korjus had previously suggested that the country should develop and produce the proposed Estcoin national currency which could then evolve into the country’s national cryptocurrency as part of the e-residency program.
EU Bank president Draghi had already made it clear in September 2017 saying, “no member state can introduce its own currency; the currency of the eurozone is the euro.” His original position has been further supported by Governor of the Bank of Estonia, Ardo Hansson, who complained about “misleading reports” on Estcoin from government agencies.
Siim Sikkut an official in charge of Estonia’s IT strategy made it clear that Estcoins will now need a new plan as the national currency concept has been rejected, suggesting:
“We agreed in discussions with politicians that Estcoin will proceed as a means for transactions inside the e-resident community. Other options aren’t on the table. We’re not building a new currency.”
Kaspar Korjus, the author of the Estcoin plan, says that the “community Estcoin” is still being analyzed for potential benefits, but also confirmed that it wouldn’t become a national cryptocurrency.
Estonia a country of 1.3 million has a significant internet penetration and has seen a widespread adoption of cryptocurrencies and fintech over the past few years, becoming a breeding ground for new startups. The euro became its national currency in 2011.
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