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Bitcoin Government The Almighty Buck

Estonia Proposes Estcoin, a Government Backed Cryptocurrency, Issued Via an Initial Coin Offering After e-Residency Success (cityam.com) 51

Estonia is living up to its digital reputation and setting tongues wagging with its latest idea: its very own digital currency issued via an initial coin offering (ICO). From a report: The buzz word of the moment in the heady world of cyptocurrencies, ICOs, are being used to raise cash via a digital token that's issued to investors. What investors get back in return depends what the company offers, much like crowdfunding, but can be some sort of stake in the company or merely being able to use the blockchain-based software it's building. But what's on offer in a potential ICO of a nation state? That's exactly what Estonia wants to work out. The head of its innovative e-residency programme has said the country is considering what the issuance of "estcoin", the country's very own digital currency, would look like. In a blog post, Kaspar Korjus said: "Estcoins could be managed by the Republic of Estonia, but accessed by anyone in the world through its e-Residency programme and launched through an Initial Coin Offering (ICO)."
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Estonia Proposes Estcoin, a Government Backed Cryptocurrency, Issued Via an Initial Coin Offering After e-Residency Success

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  • Oh, good... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by hackel ( 10452 )

    They want to go all the way back to nation-based and controlled currencies. Great. Seems like they've completely missed the point.

    • They can try if they want to. At the very least, it will be the first country-backed crypto-currency directly available to anyone in the world without needing to go through a bank, a currency exchange service or something similar.

      • by Monkey ( 16966 )

        Iceland explored this with Auroracoin. It didn't end well.

      • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

        They are talking a ponzi currency, that they get to create without creating a debt. Currency backed by the gullible imagination of the people who foolishly buy into it. At it's core it is corrupt and as a result it will be managed corruptly. Debt free money, watch it get stolen in bulk by the politicians and corporate backers who create it and than trade it for real money, legally required to be backed by the country of issuance. Why create one imaginary unbacked currency, create hundreds even thousands and

        • by jezwel ( 2451108 )

          They are talking a ponzi currency, that they get to create without creating a debt. Currency backed by the gullible imagination of the people who foolishly buy into it.

          Sounds a lot like fiat money. The US has about $1.5 trillion of it floating around in physical form. Back at the turn of the decade, physical money was only about 10% of the US money in circulation - that means about $13.5 trillion USD is digital...
          So what's the essential difference between ICO and fiat money?

          Why create one imaginary unbacked currency.

          My take from the article is that the Estonian government would back it. More detail would be appreciated of course.

    • They want to go all the way back to nation-based and controlled currencies. Great. Seems like they've completely missed the point.

      What point is that? It will make it hard to have anything of value with no way to protect it. Thus at some point you need an enforcement, and a democracy tends to have the fairest system for enforcement that I have seen.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      They want to go all the way back to nation-based and controlled currencies. Great. Seems like they've completely missed the point.

      What point would that be?

      One of the points of cryptocurrencies is that apart from mining you can't just print more of them.
      That means that the government can't just make your savings obsolete by printing more money.
      The currency is government backed, but their control over it isn't as big as with paper money.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    They can have my fiat currency when they rip it from my cold, dead hands

    • I'm still trying to wrap my head around "fiat" paper and useless metal coins versus bits. Both are very susceptible to whims of controls beyond the users' ability to maintain value.
  • Why a government? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by gurps_npc ( 621217 ) on Tuesday August 22, 2017 @02:54PM (#55065473) Homepage

    Originally coins were issued by private groups, not governments.

    But those groups had issues with trust related to greed. So governments took over, solving those greed related trust issues, and replacing them with political ones.

    But the software that runs ecurriences is usually distributed among many many users, and the un-compiled code is available for examination.

    This eliminates the greed and political trust issues.

    Which means connecting an ecurrency to government DECREASES the trust.

    In what way would you prefer an estonia-bitcoin over an international one?

    • Biggest advantage would be that you can pay your taxes, and likely most bills, with such a currency. Granted, that isn't inherently something that can't be done with other cryptocurrencies, but the difference is real, in practice.
      • Paying your taxes is what gives most fiat currencies their value. I live in Canada. I could use barter or USD if I really wanted to for all my financial transactions but at the end of the year Revenue Canada is going to tell me that there is a specific amount that I owe them and I have to pay them in Canadian Dollars. At that point I better have Canadian dollars and as a practical point I may as well have been doing all my business in Canadian dollars all year so that I have them.

        A government backed cry
    • So governments took over, solving those greed related trust issues, and replacing them with political ones.

      The political issues are about greed too.

      • Where do most millionaires live? Inside the DC beltway.

        The company overlord got replaced by a crueler government overlord.
    • by jcr ( 53032 )

      But those groups had issues with trust related to greed. So governments took over

      That's NOT why governments usurped a monopoly on coinage, They did it because it was easier to debase the coinage than to collect taxes.

      -jcr

      • Technically that is a political issue. But that's beside the point, you are wrong.

        If what you said was accurate, than the government would not tax people, they would instead simply print more money.

        Debasing coinage, also known as printing money, is generally disliked as a tax method. The problems with inflation exceed the benefits, basically you are taxing your senior citizens to pay for the young.

        In fact private money continued to exist in part because it took governments so long to realize that using in

        • by jcr ( 53032 )

          Perhaps you can explain why the US dollar is now worth less than 4% of what it was when the Fed was incoporated in 1913, you lying putz.

          -jcr

    • by Afty0r ( 263037 )
      Why a government? Probably because lots and lots of people *trust national governments* a lot more than they do a "random group of hackers" (as they perceive it) and the Estonian government hopes to leverage this into goodwill resulting in more buys at their ICO, and a long-term raise in value - both of which generate a lot of revenue for their citizens.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Except, unlike digital currency, at least tulips have some useful properties and are beautiful to look at.

    • ...there's way too much information to decode the blockchain. You get used to it, though. Your brain does the translating. I don't even see the code. All I see is U.S. dollar, Euro, Yen...

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Bubble or not, you'd have to be an idiot not to play right now. Easy money.

  • If you can't mine it and not everyone has access to it, then it's not a crypto currency like Bitcoin... it's a centrally controlled currency just like PayPal or even the fed. The idea you can have all the good of the crypto currency and yet keep control of the money supplier and access is being naïve. Like anything that is getting touch with the gov, I predict this will be a total failure and the gov will do multiple "round" of ICO to make more profit from a currency that has unlimited inflation.
    • Crypto currency means digital currency validated by cryptographic means. It does not need to have "mining", since the mining only exists for the purpose of gaining initial value, and providing early adopters a disproportionate amount of value. Thus you can back up the currency with some value, such as trust that the government will back it, or that there the currency is based on actual value of initial investment, as opposed to being like tulip bulbs or beanie babies or bitcoin.

  • The end of the story is written on the wall: Once it will have gained economical significance, some Russian nationalist hacker will find a way to wreck it. It will happen after another Lenin statue is taken down, or a similar event.
  • The e-resident scheme seems weird to me. They grant resident rights to people they have no jurisdiction over? How are Estonians courts supposed to enforce ruling on a e-resident? Or is it just to trick to funnel capital into Estonian economy?

  • I don't think so... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Darkling-MHCN ( 222524 ) on Tuesday August 22, 2017 @10:55PM (#55067863)

    Reading the article the only source seems to be some guys blog post which is currently (unsurprisingly) down.

    Estonia gave up its own currency in 2011 when it joined the EU.

    I really doubt after going through all that trouble, just 5 years later they'd be contemplating giving up the Euro and circulating their own currency.

    I'm calling BS

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