Estonia claimed, on Monday, that the Baltic state never aimed to issue a national cryptocurrency. A government spokeswoman said that that the country only recognizes the euro as its official currency. She claimed that the government is interested in using blockchain technology and will likely use it for its e-residency program. The digital ID program could also use virtual tokens, but they will never be used as a nationalized cryptocurrency.
Estonia Doesn’t Need a National Crypto
Estonian media adviser Triin Oppi said that the country never planned to launch its own crypto. A proposal for issuing Estcoin was tabled in the e-residency community, and a discussion has been initiated for the same. However, the coin, if launched, will remain within the e-Residency program and to be used for digital identification purposes only.
She told CNBC in an interview on Monday:
“We strongly believe in the potential of blockchain technology as a tool for economic development, empowerment, and inclusion and we notice that several private and public institutions worldwide are also exploring its opportunities.”
“Estonia already has a vital start-up sector, and we are looking for various initiatives to make it even stronger. One possible avenue is to explore possibilities to provide, within EU legislation, clear guidelines for companies that want to conduct ICOs legally and responsibly.”
Downplaying a ‘Bloomberg’ Report
The publication reported, earlier, that the Estonian government has “scaled down” its plan to launch a crypto coin of its own. The report cited remarks from the managing director of the e-Residency program, Kaspar Korjus, who previously announced that the state could issue the Estcoin through an ICO.
The move, after it was announced, was heavily criticized by ECB President Mario Draghi, who said that the eurozone has only one currency and no member states can introduce any of their own. Central bank governor Ardo Hansson also noted that the authorities are providing “misleading reports” on the status and that Estonia is the first former Soviet nation that adopted the single currency of the eurozone in 2010.
Siim Sikkut, who is in charge of the state’s IT strategy, was cited as a source by Bloomberg on their plans to use Estcoin for the e-Residency program instead of a full-fledged national currency. He claimed it was agreed after discussion, with the country’s politicians, that the Estcoin will be limited to the e-Resident community only. He cited that other options are not on the table and no new cryptocurrency is being built.
Is the Euro in Danger?
The Tallinn state is not the first in the eurozone to question the authority of the euro. Earlier, Italy’s opposition party proposed that the government issued a small-denomination bond, interest-free, to pay the suppliers.
Mario Draghi said:
“I won’t comment on the Italian intention, but I will comment on the Estonian decision: no member state can introduce its own currency.”
He commented that there is only one currency in the entire bloc.
The e-Residency program, for which the Estcoin will reportedly be used, has issued more than 35,000 identification cards since 2014. Most of these card holders are foreign residents from Ukraine, Russia, and Finland.