Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Estonia's ICO: "A currency designed for digital nomads"

The FT's Izabella Kaminska writing for the paper:

Estonian proposals may not be as ingenious or innovative as they seem
Last week, an Estonian named Kaspar Korjus posted a speculative proposal online. Mr Korjus, who manages the e-residency programme at the agency responsible for attracting inward investment to Estonia, asked what would happen if the country were to become the first sovereign state to issue its own cryptocurrency.
The currency, he suggested, could be called “estcoin”. The post went viral, and soon enough many were misconstruing the idea as an official government proposal. Which it wasn’t.

Rather, it was Mr Korjus’ vision of an initiative that would provide Estonia, which has been part of the eurozone since January 2011, with the means of raising funds via the mechanism of “initial coin offerings” (ICOs). The aim, he said, would be to invest the funds in technology and innovation for the public sector.

The funds, he noted, could even be managed by way of a public-private partnership or a sovereign wealth fund, in keeping with investment mandates outlined in the smart contracts which underpinned estcoins themselves.

Mr Korjus argued that estcoins could “also be accepted as payment for both public and private services and eventually function as a viable currency used globally”.

But as dazzling as his post was, with its rarefied technical vocabulary, it lacked any explanation of how estcoins would differ from traditional publicly issued bonds, assets or currency. So what would be the point of establishing an Estonian cryptocurrency? ...

A few (possibly) related posts:

"Estonia could be the first country to do its own initial coin offering"
Who Defends the Virtual Countries of Tomorrow? (Estonia's digital citizenship)
"President of Estonia Calls Paul Krugman Smug, Overbearing, and Patronizing"